This prize winning proposal for the Azienda Elettrica Ticinese (AET) Headquarters in Monte Carasso, Switzerland was submitted by architect Dario Franchini. In this project the goal of the administrative building is to address the avant-garde, sustainable, and future features of the architecture on the site as an urban condition. The project is conceived of in two phases. Phase One is a three storey administrative building of 2,000 sqm. Phase Two is a tower of 15,000 cubic meters.
For more information read on after the break.
The goal of the first phase of the project is to confront the urban context. The first three floors align with the existing buildings to fit within the surrounding context of the site. The goal of the second phase of the project is to project an image of a future for the region in the form of a tower, taking into account the scale of the city with its river, valley and highway.
The formal strategy that guided the design of the building fit into ecological criteria:
The building was designed to be able to shade itself. Every floor on the south facade has a 67 degree inclinination from the top to the bottom. The north facade, on the other hand, is flat. To avoid huge cantilevers on the south face, the structure follows the inclination of the facades. The decreasing of the volume also allows to reduce the footprint of the building, increasing the permeable surface of the plot. The basement of the building has only the 18 % of the total volume. The ratio between the structure and the glass is calculated to reach a coefficient of Av/Ae of 30% which is the perfect ratio between light and heat recovery.
This design uses the south facing area to develop a united system, whereas the north is allotted free space for future development. The project suggested to give to the city of Monte Carasso an administrative area, which culminates with a tower, that takes a strong urban connotation. The two new buildings are integrated as a terminal of the existing complex, creating a huge courtyard. The administrative building of the first phase made uses wood as its main material and has an L-shape that fits well into the existing context and with the surrounding architecture.