Visa section of Swiss Embassy in Beijing / EXH Design

© Shu He
© Shu He

Architect: EXH Design – (Erich Diserens, Xi Zhang, Peter Becker, Kenan Liu)
Location: Beijing,
Constructor: Beijing Shouhua Construction Group
Existing area: 104 sqm
Extension area: 213 sqm
Project year: 2007 – 2009
Photography: Shu He

© Shu He © Shu He © Shu He © Shu He

© Shu He
© Shu He

The existing visa pavilion built in 1999 is a solid building in concrete and . It cannot meet the increasing request of visas any more. We were approached to enlarge the working areas and provide a fresh representation of Switzerland in China.

The concept is to ‘see the history through the decade’. We keep the old brick building, which witnessed the accelerated pace of change in China; and extended it with a lightweight glass facade, through which the inside bricks still can be seen. Two kinds of architecture are overlapped in across time.

© Shu He
© Shu He

The facade is an abstract collection of Chinese characters with Swiss simplicity, which hides the steel structure. Bamboo is used as exterior and interior material to indicate the context – China.
Both, Chinese and Swiss visitors, will sense a familiar impression.

The existing building contents as today the waiting area for visitors, the counters and the offices of the Visa section. The extension contents additional offices, a small meeting room, a server room and toilets. An air lock and a canopy will be added to the visitors’ entrance.

© Shu He
© Shu He

The roof of the extension will be planted (extensive lawn system). for energy saving reasons floor and roof will be well insulated. Low-e glazing will be used in facade. A floor heating, ceiling cooling sys¬tem with ventilation for fresh air meet a high quality of comfort.

The existing pavilion and his extension will be fully supplied by the existing technical installations in the basement of the chancellery.

Cite: "Visa section of Swiss Embassy in Beijing / EXH Design" 25 Aug 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 25 May 2015. <>
  • richie


  • shreyank

    seriously cute…

  • shreyank

    awesomely neat…..

  • Mahmoud

    Switzerland in China can’t be more elegant.. excellent job, nice detailing..

  • INawe

    is it just me or are the number of juvenile comments growing on this website?

    aside from that, conceptually it’s a great building.

    • Guy

      Is it just me or do people take themselves way too seriously?

      • sthapit


  • novan

    simple and elegance