New extension in harmony with existing listed buildingsAdministrative building with restaurant and underground parkingUrban planning conceptThe blueprints for the new extension at the WTO in Geneva are primarily determined by the following aspects.The new building should complement the urban planning situation of the existing group of buildings. It should offer a convincing solution to the cramped conditions in the southern part of the plot and integrate the necessary existing functional requirements.The competition site is situated in an unusual location mixing both city and lake surroundings. The lakeside park area incorporating the existing group of WTO buildings is a key determining factor in the project. The new building reacts to urban planning constraints and expands the whole area without shutting it off completely. It maintains a respectful distance from the old buildings and generates a high-quality, exciting outdoor area between both buildings.The existing building lines are incorporated in sections and continued. The height of the new building is also in line with the area as a whole. The elongated building plot stretches from the tower in the north to the new extension in the south. The result is a balanced, well-proportioned overall picture that is enriched by the interaction between old and new.Architectural conceptThe dimensions of the extension are mostly limited to the former car park, meaning the existing trees on the plot can remain in place and no additional areas have to be sealed off for construction. Visitors are led from the main gate through the old building, over a spacious footbridge and directly into the main lobby in the extension. From here, all areas of the new building can be accessed. The new building is essentially divided into two sections – the base structure at ground level and the crystalline structure suspended above. Thanks to this division, the actual dimensions appear smaller and are playfully incorporated into the park area. The building appearance is defined by openness and transparency.All of the joint facilities are located in the base of the building, such as the lobby and reception area, restaurant with kitchen and delivery area, plus a generous exhibition area. The data centre, technical facilities and parking areas are found on the lower levels. The roof of the base structure is designed as an accessible wooden deck, welcoming visitors to use it as a viewing platform. A terrace at the front expands the restaurant towards the lake.The crystalline structure suspended above houses the administration department and all office areas. The goal is to generate the highest levels of transparency and openness through the clear and flexible building design. The building has a bright, friendly and timelessly modern look. It follows the existing building lines and opens out towards both the park and main entrance.
Characteristics and design The clever allocation of areas within the building creates spaces used for communication and sharing experiences. The individual floors offer the most diverse options for office design. All possibilities can be realised – from classical single offices to combined areas and open-plan offices.The façade has a modular design and supports the required flexibility of the building. Separating walls can be positioned freely within the building plan. All workstations have a sufficient supply of daylight and pleasant links to outdoors. The building core and all infrastructural facilities are located in the centre of the building, thus making it easy for visitors to find their way around. Additional flights of winding stairs help to promote internal communication between floors.The floor slabs in the new building are supported laterally by four columns. In order to also keep the economical system in place in the upper floors, a ceiling slab will be installed in the floor above the exhibition area. The office area then appears to be detached from the base. The loads are supported by the central core of the building and the middle row of columns. Economical and ecological aspectsThe energy and ventilation concept adheres to the applicable Minergie-P standards. The office area is split into thermal zones:- Outer zoneOffices with building element heating/cooling, natural ventilation and mechanical ^auxiliary source air- Inner zone Combined zone with mechanical source air- Core areaStairwells and WC facilitiesDue to noise protection requirements and the strong lakeside winds, the glass front of the office floors is designed as a double façade. This allows for natural ventilation. Additionally, the trees on the east, south and west side also offer natural shade in summer. Heating and cooling in the rooms is made via the exchange of thermal radiation by the building element heating/cooling surfaces in the concrete ceilings. The storage masses in the building (uncladded concrete walls and ceilings) contribute to basic heating, the prevention of temperature peaks and increased comfort in the rooms. The cooling potential of the building elements is used in summer and the heating potential in winter.The ventilation of interior rooms is supported by mechanical source-air ventilation through the raised and cavity flooring. The exhaust air is compressed in the access areas, extracted through the core and fed to the heat recovery system. The electric switchboards and IT rooms are positioned above each other on all floors for the vertical routing of power and data lines. Horizontal routing of the power and data lines is made separately for high-voltage and low-voltage current in the raised flooring.Lighting of the individual areas is made according to the spatial requirements. To improve the energy efficiency using artificial lighting, floor-standing luminaires with electronic ballasts and presence/motion detectors are used around the workstations.