Text description provided by the architects. Commercial and industrial buildings are characteristic of the area for which this project ‒ based on design plans for the «Äussere Lorzenallmend» district ‒ was developed. Two construction phases are planned: During the first construction phase, an idiosyncratic, comb-like, three-story building volume is formulated and subsequently enhanced with a high point on Chollerstrasse. A spacious access ramp leading to a plateau opens up the new building. The two building wings enclose the entrance space.
The building, which houses the data center of one of the largest cable network companies in Switzerland in the basement, focuses on economical, functional, and sustainable design. Accommodating many photovoltaic elements in the facade and on the roof was especially important for the client. The separation of components and the visibility of all installations were further defining design choices.
The building structure, a slab-and-pillar system with stiffening cores, allows for great flexibility in use and characterizes the appearance of the new building. The facades are designed differently according to their orientation. The glass block infills in the lintels and the photovoltaic elements in the parapets reference the industrial character of the environment.
The compact glass block system works similarly to insulating glazing and invokes a sense of translucency both inside and out. In reference to the ribbed pattern of the glass blocks, the photovoltaic parapet elements were designed with horizontally textured glass. This results in a fine relief that spans the facade depending on the orientation, as glass blocks, parapet, and lintel elements as well as the vertical facade structure are on different levels. The front facades also vary in design.
The buildings are organized pragmatically. In addition to the computer center, there is a considerable number of parking spaces in the basement, which also serve the adjacent factory. A customer center is located on the ground floor and is accessible via an atrium illuminated by zenithal light. It serves as a pivotal element in the building and provides access to the upper floors via a sculptural spiral staircase. Rationally organized office spaces are located on the upper floors that can be flexibly subdivided. The modularity of the floor plans allows the tenant to adjust the building layout to their needs.
Thanks to the photovoltaic parapets and systems on the roof as well as targeted reduced use of materials, the building is highly energy efficient in accordance with Minergie guidelines.