The Actelion Business Center | Herzog & de Meuron
In contrast to the densely built-up surroundings with rigidly defined shapes, the new Actelion Business Center building is an open structure comprising beam-like elements, stacked on top of one another, which change their appearance depending on the angle from which they are viewed. The spaces between the beam structures allow for visual connections inward and outward to the adjacent laboratories, nearby office buildings and sports fields. The apparently random arrangement of the office beams not only provides unusual views within and to the outside, but also generates terraces and courtyards in many different sizes and qualities for employees to work, take breaks, and gather to meet formally or informally.
The office workplaces are arranged in linear pods, exposed to a plentiful supply of daylight in the upper storeys. The modular layout and column-free areas satisfy the needs of various office typologies and differently sized offices. Meeting rooms and lounge-style areas are situated at the intersections of beams to increase inter-departmental communication within the company. Additional functions such as a restaurant, café, auditorium, service facilities and outdoor areas on the ground floor are accessible to the public.
A clearly defined development principle and a clear structural concept define and organise the layout of the office pods simplifying accessibility and orientation in what appears to be a complex space. All employees and visitors access the ground floor by a central foyer so that controlled admission to the offices on the upper floors is ensured. Four vertical access cores with stairways and lifts serve the office floors as well as offer safe escape routes in the event of fire.
Herzog & de Meuron, 2010