Commissioned to design a pair of buildings for the entrance to a 48,000 m² business park near Lake Geneva, we created a strikingly luminous yet functional mini-complex. With their entirely transparent glass façades, our offices take full advantage of the natural light and views of the surrounding area by day, becoming glowing landmarks by night.
Nemaco Suisse SA
Terre Bonne Business Park, located between Geneva and Lausanne, has a total of ten buildings. We were asked to design two of these,: Z1 and Z2, which are adjacent to each other. The first, Z1, is effectively the gateway to the park, and also houses the site’s main restaurant and social hub, The Kitchen. Our two buildings are identical in style and linked to form a dynamic zigzag complex-within-a-complex. Their entirely glass façades are enlivened by their overhanging eaves, which act as a shield against excessive solar heat and give the buildings their intriguing pagoda-like profile.
The shared entrance of Z1 and Z2 is another area where indoor and outdoor areas merge. A plaza with planting and a water feature offers places to relax and enjoy fresh air. Partly covering the plaza with glass provides protection from rain.
At the entrance to the site and flanking the roadside, by night our buildings become beacons for the park thanks to their unusual tiered appearance and their glowing, transparent glass skin. Each measuring 5,300 m2, they are accessed from a central entrance, which we placed on the same access as the entrances of all the other buildings in the park. A partially glass-covered triangular shaped plaza forms a friendly approach to the two buildings. Incorporating a water feature, the entrance sets the tone for the buildings: transparent, open, flexible and sociable.
Extended overhanging eaves are a solar shield and create an intriguing pagoda-like profile.
Our buildings needed to meet strict Swiss sustainability requirements. We used triple glazing for the glass façades, while the large overhanging roof areas provide essential shading from the sun as well as visual interest. The façade treatment, with aluminium floor-edges that flow upwards to form panels and outwards to create dramatic overhangs, also limits solar exposure. On the roof, solar boilers provide warm water and the roof is also used for water collection and storage. Abundant daylight reduces the need for artificial lighting inside the building. With a central core enabling a flexible floorplan, our offices can be easily reorganised and so also have maximum sustainability of use.
With a high degree of transparency, our buildings feature a strong relationship between inside and outside, especially on the ground floor. The park’s main restaurant, and so its principal social hub, is The Kitchen, located in the basement and on the ground floor of Z1. Its interior flows into a spacious terrace on the south-west side of the building. The storey-high, sliding glass façade between the restaurant and the terrace can be fully opened, dissolving the boundary between inside and outside. The basement area of the restaurant can be reached via an open area in the restaurant, or via a patio outside the building.
Glass is the most abundant material in our Terre Bonne buildings. We even use it for flooring here and there, intensifying the transparency of the building. Coupled with the aluminium of the façade, it creates a sleek, streamlined appearance. On the ground floor areas especially, we added a tactile, human touch with high-quality natural materials like stone. Planted areas and the entrance water feature continue the organic theme.
Developed by Nemaco Suisse SA, the Terre Bonne business park features ten buildings including offices, a restaurant, a crèche and car parks. Our two conjoined buildings form a quirky element that nevertheless fits perfectly into the site like a piece in a jigsaw puzzle, creating a harmonious whole with the rest of the park. Concealed out of sight, Z1 and Z2 both have underground parking with a total of 152 spaces, allowing landscaping around the site to raise the quality of the outdoor public space.