Switzerland's unique topography has long inspired its national building culture. The peaks of chalets and pitched roofs--once necessary to offload robust snowfall--aped the jagged lines of mountain ranges, a superimposition of man-made and natural forms that proves both jarring and exquisite. Davide Macullo Architects updates the tradition with their just-completed Jansen Campus in Oberriet, a jumble of triangular forms that mimic the sharp profile and deep valleys of the surrounding landscape.
The office campus consists of a main structure that's been dropped in the center of a sculpted green park, which has been planted with 80 trees, many of which are native to the region. (There's also the relatively large parking lot that the architects discretely left out of their press release.) Razor-edged walls rise up from this ground plane and jut out in all directions, some towards the mountains, others towards the park and even themselves. They form the sides of numerous rhomboid volumes, which are clustered together in such a way to form intermediate courtyards and voids that give access to light and views.
Another inconvenient fact the architects tip-toe around is the building's blatant appropriation of Libeskind-ian forms, which, though derivative, are admittedly well-executed, eschewing with Danny boy's obnoxious aluminum facade treatments in favor of a more sensitive and innovative solution. According to the firm, the building's exterior panels, together with its structural glazing, present a new type of facade system, one which "integrates innovative technologies and includes new details and materials not yet used in architecture."
The interior is organized around an open plan, with employees stations at custom low-height workdesks designed not to occlude views to the rest of the office or to the outside. The conference room, with its spectacular views to the nearby town, would be the envy of an office, while the triangle-shaped windows are a nice, if cheesy, touch that works to circumscribe the interiors within the whole of the formal scheme.