Text description provided by the architects. The “Pré-Bois-Building” (PBB) is located in the Geneva Airport area, along the eponymous road linking the airport to the city-centre. Intended for companies with activities that will benefit from close ties to the airport, it is also the main entrance for the air navigation site, housing its corporate restaurant and other activities.
Planning and development for the ‘Route de la Pré-Bois’ is part of the State of Geneva’s seven “Grands Projets Prioritiares” (key priority projects). Redubbed the “Front Aéroport” (Airport Frontage), this axis road will progressively be transformed into a road offering areas for pedestrian, cyclist, and public transportation traffic. It will be tree-filled and lined with shops.
The PBB envisions this transformation by including an esplanade – open space along the road welcoming the flow of air navigation staff, other users of the PBB, and the first retail shop along the street itself.
Its mainly administrative function distinguishes the building from neighbouring industrial-type structures. On the one hand, the PBB aims to represent the companies it hosts – starting with air navigation, for which it will become the new entrance – and on the other hand, blend into the airport’s characteristically homogeneous environment.
The façades offer a variation on the framework theme, a main feature of the adjacent buildings. The prefabricated structural elements’ colour and texture also evoke the surrounding buildings’ façades. It is the PBB’s dimensions, proportions, and glasswork sections that both set it apart from, and tie it into, the tradition of administrative buildings.