Competition Entry: Latitude Studio Consolidates Office Space at WHO's Geneva Headquarters

Competition Entry: Latitude Studio Consolidates Office Space at WHO's Geneva Headquarters

Latitude Studio’s entry for the World Health Organization’s (WHO) design competition to expand its Geneva headquarters seeks to embody WHO’s sustainable and collaborative approach to enhancing universal health. Their design consolidates individual offices and open workspaces within one facility, maximizing areas for collaboration and communication, while solar panels and rainwater collection systems improve the building’s sustainability. If chosen, the proposal would become one of three main buildings at the WHO headquarters.

Diagram: WHO functions
Diagram: WHO functions

Although it will be a new construction, Latitude Studio seeks to maximize the new building’s connection with the existing WHO Headquarter facilities through a shared basement. The building’s layout follows an S-configuration, arranging individual and open workspaces in a way that maximizes areas for collaboration and communication. These S-layout office zones each maintain their own service areas, as well as direct access to the stairs and elevators for ease of access between floors.

Cross section
Cross section

The design comprises six floors and 14,000 square-meters of office space (both shared and individual). In addition to the flexibility created by the S-layout, the offices also incorporate movable vertical surfaces that can double as open areas when necessary.


To further its alignment with the WHO’s goals, Latitude Studio’s proposal places a heavy focus on sustainability. A double-layer facade creates an internal airspace, which helps regulate the building's interior temperature by enabling airflow. In addition, half of the roof area and portions of the facade house solar panels, and rainwater collection systems create a green solution for irrigating both the indoor and outdoor gardens. 

  • Competition

    WHO Geneva Headquarters Building Extension
  • Award

    Competition Entry
  • Project Name

    The New Building
  • Architects

  • Location

    Avenue Appia 20, 1202 Genève, Switzerland
  • Principal Architect

    Manuel N. Zornoza
  • Design Team

    Andrea Ramos Rodriguez, Jorge Cortes de Castro, Lucia Bravo Guinea
  • Client

  • Area

    22000.0 sqm
  • Project Year

  • Photographs

    Courtesy of Latitude Studio

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Cite: Holly Giermann. "Competition Entry: Latitude Studio Consolidates Office Space at WHO's Geneva Headquarters" 09 May 2015. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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