Helvetia, Extension of Head Office, West Wing
St. Gallen, Switzerland
Competition 1989, project 2013-2017, realization 2015-2017

The extension of the head office, west wing is the last stage of the competition which Herzog & de Meuron won in 1989 and consists of four structures docked onto the ends of each wing of the existing cruciform complex erected in the 1970s. Three of these extensions were completed between 2000 and 2004. Plans for the extension to the west were taken up again in 2013 with completion scheduled for early 2017.

The new buildings, their height following the incline of the slope, are laid out to form distinctly different courtyards: the court to the north with the front building closes off the cross facing the mountain and is oriented toward the park; the east court with two elongated parallel buildings faces the city; the west court with the existing building and the south court at the main entrance with adjoining restaurant and cafeteria are oriented toward the entrance side of the premises.

The new building to the west forms the main entrance to the Helvetia Insurance building complex. Its significance is underscored by the structural design: the four-story office building, resting on two mighty cones, creates a spacious covered forecourt in front of the entrance. The two cones blend into the sloping topography, establishing a link between the street-level entrance and the restaurant facilities with a garden on the floor below.

The small cone to the north accommodates a conference room on the lower level. The large cone with offices rising above is truncated. The two-story space accommodates the new cafeteria, providing a unique location within the head office of Helvetia, which is open to staff all day long.
Herzog & de Meuron, 2015


Herzog & de Meuron Team:
Partners: Jacques Herzog, Pierre de Meuron, Robert Hösl (Partner in Charge)
Marc Schmidt (Associate/Project Director), Florian Tschacher (Associate/Project Director), Ludwig Jahn (Project Manager)
Teodor Cuciureanu, Moritz Fuchs, Sebastian Hefti, Robert Megel, Dennis Marsch, Carlo Morsiani, Dulcineia Neves dos Santos, Bernard Resewski, Samuel Seiler, Kai Strehlke (Visualisations)


Art on Site:
Adrian Schiess, Paints and Arts, Buchs, Switzerland

Helvetia Versicherungen

Client Representative: 
Christian Näff, Projektleiter Ost, Helvetia Versicherungen
Daniel Wehrli, Leiter Projekte Ost, Helvetia Versicherungen

Building Data:
Gross Floor Area (GFA): 57,624 sqft / 5,353 sqm
Footprint: 6,455 sqft / 600 sqm
Number of levels: 7
Building Dimensions: Length 105 ft / 32 m; Width 55 ft / 17 m; Height 60 ft / 18 m
Gross Volume (GV): 664,676 cbft / 18,822 cbm
Facade Surface: 13,799 sqft / 1,282 sqm



Clementine Hegner-van Rooden: Zwei Kegel auf der Kuppe. In: Marko Sauer (Ed.). Modulor. St. Gallen und der Beton. Urdorf, Boll AG, 03.2018. pp. 60-65.

Arend Kölsch: Erweiterungsbauten: Helvetia-Hauptsitz, St. Gallen, Schweiz, 1989-2004/2017. Herzog & de Meuron. In: Annette Gigon, Mike Guyer, Arend Kölsch in collaboration with Isabel Gutzwiller (Eds.). Bürogebäude. Zürich, gta Verlag ETH Zürich Institut für Geschichte und Theorie der Architektur, 2019. pp. 290-295, 340.