Herzog & de Meuron returns to St Gallen for fourth Helvetia office extension

News: Herzog & de Meuron has unveiled designs for its fourth extension to the headquarters of insurance company Helvetia in the Swiss city of St Gallen.

The new west wing will join three other extensions completed by Herzog & de Meuron between 2002 and 2004 at Helvetia's office campus, which is located on a peak overlooking the city. It will provide a new entrance, as well as offices, meeting rooms and a staff cafe.

Like the three previous extensions, the building will sit on the edge of the company's cross-shaped campus. All four buildings will share the same square-grid facade, and together will frame a series of four courtyards.

"The fourth and final extension creates a striking entrance with a cafe, lounges and offices," said Pierre de Meuron, who partners the firm alongside Jacques Herzog.

"In recent years, four new spaces, different in shape, size and cross-section, have been docked to the cross-shaped building with a central open staircase," he added. "This has resulted in four yard-like gardens that integrate nature into the office. The uniform facades of all extensions gives the entire building complex its identity."

Construction of the campus is set to begin towards the end of this year and the new building should be operational by 2016/2017.