The Roche office tower in 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.

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