Alien by Gus Wüstemann



Alien is a new headquarters for media agency Mediaxis at Schlieren in Switzerland, designed by Swiss architect Gus Wüstemann.


The offices, in a converted factory next to the railway station, feature a "huge alien of concrete" at the entrance (below).


The following information is from Gus Wüstemann:


An alien for Mediaxis

The alien

The project was to convert an old factory next to the train station in Schlieren in Switzerland, into a new high tech media agency for Mediaxis.


Peter loved the atmosphere of the station as a metaphor of his high tech media lab, seeing the rails like channels of information, taking you to a next step of the internet. So we created a space station where you already meet the techniques of the future.


As the entrance we built a huge alien of concrete. The face was actually tracing the old façade of the building; two old windows serve as the alien eyes. The alien stands for an icon you can refer to and get to liking it. In architectural terms, it gave the old building a modern, cubistic façade, which now is stronger than the old factory shape.


The logo aiming at space

To pursue the alien message we painted the logo on the roof for other aliens or just in case Google takes new photos from space for the Google map.


High tech and anarchy

We created the high tech media lab with all the latest technologies in a very rigid old factory space. We cut a huge slab out of the concrete ceiling to get a high entrance hall with the meeting room on its gallery.


The act of cutting the concrete and let it be visible stands for the ancient times of physical presence, which we call anarchy.


Around the upper part of this space we set a very fine and precise light façade, actually a light space, floating above and in between all this old concrete.


This inner light façade represents precision and gives the whole space station a warm atmosphere.


As the architecture budget was fixed (luckily not too tight) we focused on where and how to intervene. We sanded all the old concrete surfaces and just put the light façade in front of the old façade.


The floors are made of asphalt to give it an urban feeling and the light façade are made of scobalit.


Architecture: Gus Wüstemann

Project team: Marta b.goñi

Year: 2008

Location: Schlieren, Switzerland

Floor area: 300 m2 media lab

Photographer: Bruno Helbling

Client: Mediaxis-MPG AG








Posted on Thursday October 2nd 2008 at 12:46 am by Matylda Krzykowski. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • mama

    Nice, dark, raw & tidy, very Swiss. The only thing that spoils it for me is that ugly client company logo. Can’t they take example from Helvetica the movie since they are an advertising bunch?

  • trent

    ok, so the whole “alien/space ship” metaphor is a bit thin (to say the least), but that polished concrete! mmmm… and those glowing panels at the wall, gorgeous! almost makes me want a job in advertising

    it would have been nice to see past the foyer, ja? i assume the rest of the building is full of monkeys at melamine desks…

  • bald skull

    doesn’t look very alien to me. maybe they should check out Oakley’s HQ?

  • Tyler.

    I love interiors. Building imo looks kinda weak :/

  • stev

    Booooooooring! Why is this here?

  • spielberg

    alien? is it a joke??
    interiors… ok…
    one of the worst exteriors ever published on Dezeen.

  • karajan

    to wüstemann:
    intersting project. translucent open space gets grounded by dark floors.
    like cooled down lava that provides fertile ground.
    seems to be a good place to develop ideas or to interact with alien life forms. maybe that’s all the same anyway…

    to stev:
    any thing better to offer?
    I mean right here, right now.
    publish it! cheers

  • rodney

    Very nice.
    It’s not over the top with false interior forms which have been the trend lately.
    It’s honest and true to it’s existing structure.

  • rodger

    fun project, nicely executed. i like the abstract use of light and forms.
    sadly however, i find their choice of materials problematic….plastic translucent panels are just that. they are cheap, look cheap and give off cheap light.

  • rodger

    additionally, you would improve your lighting effects if you mixed in to your lighting composition the lighting colors. the blue of the exterior light has a jarring relationship with the yellow interior light. ie. halogens on the interior in addition to your florescents would help.

  • christopher

    Agreed that the concept is thin.

    “The act of cutting the concrete and let it be visible stands for the ancient times of physical presence, which we call anarchy.”

    What?? This verbiage is beyond the pale.

  • Azeem

    Feels good, but its a low budget project.

  • Iorch

    Totally agree with Mama and Spielberg:
    nice interiors + ugly exteriors + horrible logo

  • all

    ugly exteriors?? … it´s an old building

  • jed_

    can any of you haters actually read?

    “The project was to convert an old factory”

    the exterior is already a given.

    the interior is really beautiful,

  • iziah

    cubistic façade – you are joking, cubism is something else, when it is cubic – it is not cubistic…

  • i’m totally in love with this project! it’s gorgeus, from inside to outside!

  • windbag

    now this is really ugly.

  • Actually I really, REALLY like this! Granted, the design elements inside are not particularly groundbreaking, but as a corporate headquarters it looks pretty sharp. Who would’ve guessed that such an ordinary-looking building would be so cool on the inside. I would LOVE to work in a place like this.

  • zwierzak

    everything is good but exterior looks so temporary and it doesn’t make sense with interior (like two different buildings).

  • William

    beautiful interior, ruined by the exterior

  • One


  • rrrrrrr

    Now that’s anarchy with a capital A.

    I’m really feeling the ancient times with physical presence in some of these photos, just comes right through.

    Sterling work, archimatects

  • Soupdragon

    Really liking the asphalt flooring despite being difficult to see in the photo’s, actually quite like the existing building as well. Is it a duck or a shed? Or both?

  • kingmu

    Gosh, I really hate sounding negative… but, I’ve said this before and I’ll probably say it again… never allow ‘architects’ to work with graphics.

  • Uli W.

    …did Gus re-invent his first try at TBWA?