Administration Building No. 5 – Roche Diagnostics Inc., Rotkreuz, Switzerland | Burckhardt+Partner AG

An energy-efficient high rise building in the tradition of the puristic corporate architecture of Roche

The Roche office tower in Rotkreuz, Switzerland, was the winning entry of a competition in 2008. The brief required an energy-efficient high rise building which stands in the tradition of the puristic corporate architecture of Roche. The 68m high, all around glazed building is the landmark of the Roche site. It is vertically separated in 3 parts: a 6m high lobby, 13 office floors and a double height space containing auditorium and sky lobby as a visual top of the building.

Public and private spaces are distinguished by the use of different materials; elegant red marble in the lobby, brown carpet and oak spiral stairs the office floors and oak parquet in the sky lobby. All spaces are visually connected by the free standing fair faced concrete core. The office floors are connected by 12 spiral stairs, surrounding the core three times from bottom to top. The structural system of the high rise is characterised by rhombus shaped, 4 floors high façade columns.

The brand new ‘closed cavity façade’ is an integral part of the energy efficiency of the building. Generic principle of the two layer façade is a completely sealed cavity containing the sunshading of each façade element. The core of the energy supply is a combination of heat pump and chiller. The ventilation of the building is covered by local façade ventilation units.

Through half of the year the building can be cooled with fresh air from outside without extra cooling energy. The concrete floor slabs are thermally activated. Additionally, absorbing strips have been embedded in the concrete soffit to maintain the required acoustic quality. The first time use of a high pressure fog system in a building instead of a common sprinker system is rounding up the technical features.

and from the architect’s website:

The Roche Diagnostics AG Rotkreuz is located next to the Rütihof highway off-ramp. The site for the new administrative building, where the new structure will be erected, is at the southern end of the transverse axis of the terrain. The structure, 68 m tall, will line up with the existing neighboring buildings, which thus defines its exact location.

The outer shell of the office tower is in the form of a curtain wall façade which, light conditions permitting, offers a more or less clear view of the inner support structure of the V-posts.

The architectural design proposes a nearly square footprint with two load-bearing cores constituting the central zone. The work areas are arranged in circular fashion around this core zone. Since the building supports are located at the perimeter, i.e. façade, it allows for a ground plan without pillars and with maximum flexibility on all levels.

The ground floor of the administrative building, with its raised foyer, relates to the new site while at the same time featuring an open concept in all directions. Located above this stylish foyer are two IT levels and eleven additional office levels accommodating 625 employees. Internal traffic is facilitated via spiral stairways each of which connects two levels. The conference rooms and individual offices are transparent compartments integrated into the large office space. The Convention Center, extending on the garret level above two stories below, includes a large raised auditorium and associated conference rooms

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