Herzog & de Meuron
Project
2005-2009
Realization
2007-2010

In contrast to the densely built-up surroundings with rigidly defined shapes, the new Actelion Business Center building is an open structure comprising beam-like elements, stacked on top of one another, which change their appearance depending on the angle from which they are viewed. The spaces between the beam structures allow for visual connections inward and outward to the adjacent laboratories, nearby office buildings and sports fields. The apparently random arrangement of the office beams not only provides unusual views within and to the outside, but also generates terraces and courtyards in many different sizes and qualities for employees to work, take breaks, and gather to meet formally or informally.

The office workplaces are arranged in linear pods, exposed to a plentiful supply of daylight in the upper storeys. The modular layout and column-free areas satisfy the needs of various office typologies and differently sized offices. Meeting rooms and lounge-style areas are situated at the intersections of beams to increase inter-departmental communication within the company. Additional functions such as a restaurant, café, auditorium, service facilities and outdoor areas on the ground floor are accessible to the public.

A clearly defined development principle and a clear structural concept define and organise the layout of the office pods simplifying accessibility and orientation in what appears to be a complex space. All employees and visitors access the ground floor by a central foyer so that controlled admission to the offices on the upper floors is ensured. Four vertical access cores with stairways and lifts serve the office floors as well as offer safe escape routes in the event of fire.
Herzog & de Meuron, 2010

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Process

A piece of property in a commercial area near the French border is available as a site of innovation to accommodate new company headquarters. Initial site overview.

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Meeting with the company founders and first sketches for an open, communicative building.

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Horizontal layout of the program and inquiry into the potential of a dense structure to foster direct communication.

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Linking the floors above four open cores to create a maximum of direct connections.

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The vertical cores are used for structural purposes, HVAC and circulation; they mediate between the floors that point in different directions.

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The forces of the bridge structure form trees that rest on a few supports in the underground carpark. The direction and tilt of the glass facades depend on location and function.

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On-site assembly of prefabricated steel elements.

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The sequencing of the rooms emphasizes the link between indoors and outdoors; the struts indicate the force flow.

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Drawings

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Team

Facts

Client
Actelion Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Allschwil, Switzerland
Planning
Architect Planning: Herzog & de Meuron, Basel, Switzerland
Architect Construction: Proplaning AG, Basel, Switzerland
General Planning: Arge GP Headquarters Actelion, Basel, Switzerland; Herzog & de Meuron, Basel, Switzerland; Proplaning AG, Basel, Switzerland
Construction Management: Arge GP Headquarters Actelion, Basel, Switzerland; Herzog & de Meuron, Basel, Switzerland; Proplaning AG, Basel, Switzerland
Landscape Design: Tita Giese, DĂĽsseldorf, Germany
Structural Engineering : WGG Schnetzer Puskas Ingenieure AG, Basel, Switzerland
Mechanical Engineering: TRANSSOLAR, Energietechnik GmbH, Stuttgart, Germany
Electrical Engineering: Karl Schweizer AG, Allschwil, Switzerland
HVAC Engineering: Stokar + Partner AG, Basel, Switzerland
Plumbing Engineering: Locher, Schwittay Gebäudetechnik GmbH, Basel, Switzerland
General Contractor: Anliker AG Bauunternehmung, EmmenbrĂĽcke, Switzerland
Specialist / Consulting
Facade Consulting: Emmer Pfenninger Partner AG, MĂĽnchenstein, Switzerland
Acoustics Consulting: Martin Lienhard, BĂĽro fĂĽr Bau- und Raumakustik, Langenbruck, Switzerland
Botanical Consulting : Gysi Berglas AG, Baar, Switzerland
Building Physics Consulting: Zimmermann + Leuthe GmbH, Aetigkofen, Switzerland
Fire Protection Consulting: Swiss Institute of Safety and Security, ZĂĽrich, Switzerland
Geometric Consulting: Jermann Ingenieure + Geometer AG, Binningen, Switzerland
Geologist Consulting: Kiefer – Studer AG, Reinach, Switzerland
Gastronomy Consulting: HOSTA AG, Basel, Switzerland
Safety Consulting: Gruner AG Ingenieure und Planer, Basel, Switzerland
Traffic Planning: Rapp Infra AG, Basel, Switzerland
Building Data
Site Area: 81'924 sqft, 7'611 sqm
Gross floor area (GFA): 295'673 sqft, 27'469 sqm
GFA above ground: 166'678 sqft, 15'485 sqm
GFA below ground: 128'994 sqft, 11'984 sqm
Number of levels: 8
Footprint: 34'358 sqft, 3'192 sqm
Length: 262 ft, 80 m
Width: 262 ft, 80 m
Height: 68 ft, 21 m
Gross volume (GV): 3'690'456 cbft, 104'502 cbm
Facade surface: 161'716 sqft, 15'024 sqm
Links
www.actelion.com

Bibliography

Katharina Marchal: “Raum fĂĽr Innovation. Bauten fĂĽr Actelion, Novartis und Roche, Basel.” In: Marko Sauer (Ed.). “Modulor. HĂĽlle und Prozess.” Urdorf, Boll AG, 02.2019. pp. 44-55.

Gerhard Mack, Herzog & de Meuron: “Herzog & de Meuron 2005-2007. The Complete Works. Volume 6.” Edited by: Gerhard Mack. Basel, Birkhäuser, 2018.

Luis Fernández-Galiano (Ed.): “Arquitectura Viva MonografĂ­as. Herzog & de Meuron 2005-2013.” Vol. No. 157/158, Madrid, Arquitectura Viva SL, 09.2012.

Astrid Rappel: “Herzog & de Meuron. Siège Social d’Actelion, Allschwil.” In: FrĂ©dĂ©ric Lenne (Ed.). “AMC. Le Moniteur Architecture.” Vol. No. 207, Paris, Groupe Moniteur S.A.S., 06.2011. pp. 84-90.

“Complejo Actelion, Allschwil-Basilea, Suiza. Herzog & de Meuron. Barras apiladas, Actelion Business Center, Allschwil Basilea.” In: Luis Fernández-Galiano (Ed.). “Arquitectura Viva MonografĂ­as. Laboratorio Basilea. Novartis, Roche, Actelion, Vitra: Campus de Autor.” Vol. No. 134, Madrid, Arquitectura Viva, 09.2010. pp. 56-63.

Fernando Márquez Cecilia; Richard Levene (Eds.): “El Croquis. Herzog & de Meuron 2005-2010. Programme, Monument, Landscape. Programa, Monumento, Paisaje.” Vol. No. 152/153, Madrid, El Croquis, 2010.

Location