Steven Holl Architects along with Rüssli Architekten were selected by Doctors Without Borders as winners of a global contest for designing the organization’s Geneva Operational Center. The winners defeated proposals presented by Emilio Tuñon Arquitectos & Ruckstuhl Architekten, Pool Architekten & Mak Architecture, Sauerbruch Hutton, Consortium Sou Fujimoto, Blue Architects, and the New Talent Workshop.

The project, presented by the winning firms, is clad in brightly colored solar panels on top of the building’s glass façade. The eco-friendly center will offer the staff a variety of working spaces that can accommodate up to 250 employees.

Courtesy of Steven Holl Architects and Rüssli Architekten

Dubbed ‘Colors of Humanity’, the building promotes human interaction via several intersecting pathways. The pathways contain niche-seats, that along with other gathering areas, encourage conversation and collaboration between individuals.

These centers serve as a friendly catalyst for interaction, acting like social condensers within the building,” Steven Holl Architects commented.

The Foyer. Courtesy of Steven Holl Architects and Rüssli Architekten

Steven Holl Architects’ project is the opportunity for MSF to integrate its core values like independence, impartiality, neutrality, altruism and dynamism in a challenging new architecture and project itself in the future,” explained the Logistics Director for the MSF Operational Centre Geneva, Mathieu Soupart.

View from one of the offices. Courtesy of Steven Holl Architects and Rüssli Architekten

The photovoltaic façade has different levels of permeability so that it can mirror specific areas of the interior. It will supply the building with the required power in addition to shade and vivid color. The curtain wall is going to utilize 40% of the solar panels which will be incorporated into a flexible system that allows the windows to be fully operational. They also come in a variety of colors.

Courtesy of Steven Holl Architects and Rüssli Architekten

Solar panels will cover the top of the center which will also comprise a roof garden. The photovoltaic cells will provide the building with almost 72% of the electrical energy it needs.
Doctors Without Borders, MSF, is an inspiring organization. It is an honor to realize architecture for their Geneva home,” added Steven Holl.

Courtesy of Steven Holl Architects and Rüssli Architekten

The Geneva Operational Center will reside next to other key buildings designed by top architectural firms like the Terra and Casa Foundation expatriate housing, designed by Bonnard Woeffray Architects, and the new Institute of Higher International Studies and Development, by Kengo Kuma & Associates.
The construction process of ‘Colors of Humanity’ is expected to commence in 2019.

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