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.
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.
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.
CompetitionWHO Geneva Headquarters Building Extension
Project NameThe New Building
LocationAvenue Appia 20, 1202 Genève, Switzerland
Principal ArchitectManuel N. Zornoza
Design TeamAndrea Ramos Rodriguez, Jorge Cortes de Castro, Lucia Bravo Guinea
PhotographsCourtesy of Latitude Studio