How do you develop a truly collaborative ecosystem that will nurture a vibrant community? Where would such a forward thinking and innovative project thrive? The unconventional location on Pier 17 along San Francisco Bay's waterfront was the perfect site to send a clear message: San Francisco and Switzerland matter to each other. Establishing a “Swiss House” over the San Francisco Bay, this project brings multiple Swiss entities together under one roof at the east end of the historic Pier. The new hub of Swiss government, education, business, and innovation partners - including the Consulate General of Switzerland - will provide a gateway to the dynamic cultural life and economy of the Bay Area and nurture bilateral relations that establish an interdisciplinary hub of experimental collaboration.
Pier 17 is located on the thriving, pedestrian friendly Embarcadero. Employee physical activity and wellness are naturally integrated aspects of work-life on Pier 17. The connection to a dynamic waterfront symbolizes the client’s receptivity to new ideas. The interior build out of flexible offices and co-working and meeting spaces is designed to foster an "incubator" for creative minds and to reflect the nonconformist creativity and courageous inquiry shared by both Switzerland and California. To foster this ‘incubator’ mentality, the design team leaves the frills at the door. Creatives are encouraged to write on the walls, move the furniture, and develop a space that truly works in the moment for the task at hand.
The design team was also driven to create a space that fosters a fresh form of international collaboration by developing a workplace that would inspire interaction among the various diplomats and innovators that would inhabit the space. Having the power to control their environment was at the forefront of the client’s wish list. The design lives and breathes the word flexibility. Movable workstations, adjustable walls, blurring the lines between the indoors and outdoors, allowing for multiple programs to occur simultaneously: this place has it all.