Dezeen Magazine

Herzog & de Meuron wins contest for Swiss bank on the shore of Lake Geneva

Herzog & de Meuron has unveiled its designs for the new headquarters of Swiss wealth management service and private bank Lombard Odier, which will overlook Lake Geneva. 

The building by Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron's Basel-based firm will provide workspaces for 2,600 people, as well as a 600-seat auditorium and a staff canteen.

This will bring together some 1,900 Lombard Odier employees spread across six sites in Geneva and Lancy, as well as providing room for 700 more.

"By proposing a single building for Lombard Odier’s new head office, we are applying the title of the competition – One Roof – literally. Each facade is treated identically: there's no front or back," said Pierre de Meuron.

"A stone-clad bunker would no longer be in-keeping with the image of a contemporary bank. We have designed a transparent, elegant and measured building; as such, its architecture reflects the vision and values of Lombard Odier," he added.

The 27,400-sqaure-metre plot in Bellevue, on the northern shore of Lake Geneva in Switzerland, was selected for its proximity to rail, road and air links.

The concave glass facades, balconies and an undulating external walkway are designed to give workers views to the lake. Slender columns are shown supporting the building's overhanging floor slabs, which will form the balconies.

Herzog & de Meuron's "ultra-contemporary" design won out against proposals by seven firms: BIG, OMA, Dominique Perrault Architecture, Bernard Tschumi Architects, Favre & Guth and Atelier d’architecture Brodbeck-Roulet.

Geneva-based Favre & Guth has been selected to work with Herzog & de Meuron on the delivery of of the project.

"We were immediately struck by the project's timelessness, personality and integration in its natural environment. The building will be airy and will look amazing from the ground, lake and sky," said Lombar Odier partner Patrick Odier.

"Everything has been designed to inspire creativity and team work in a dynamic and motivating working environment," he added.

Work is expected to begin in early 2019 and complete by 2021.

Herzog & de Meuron are also currently working on a new Royal College of Art campus in London's Battersea, and a tower at Stockholm's former gasworks.

The firm came in at number four on the inaugural Dezeen Hot List, a guide to the most read-about figures in the architecture and design industry in the last year.

Visualisations are by Atelier Aron Lorincz.