Swiss Re Next
Swiss Re’s new headquarters are to occupy the site of a late-1960s office block. Thanks to better use of space, Swiss Re Next is creating room for twice as many workstations as were available in the previous building. The selected structure will also allow the firm to configure its office space very flexibly in future. Swiss Re has set high standards for the project in terms of quality, efficiency, aesthetics and environmental impact, and hopes to make a major contribution towards wider municipal plans to renew this lower portion of the lakefront.
The project in broad strokes
The Swiss Re Next design was selected from tenders submitted by twelve international architectural firms. The newly constructed headquarters will occupy a very special position, marking the mid-point of a highly visible line of buildings which runs from the Mythenschloss to the traditional architecture of Swiss Re’s original premises. The height of the project, which is the brainchild of Basel architects Diener & Diener, is congruent with the two neighbouring buildings and Swiss Re Next will thereby complete a row of structures along Mythenquai from different eras but of equal stature. The project’s exterior features a large, undulating glass façade whose dialogue with the lake and the stone frontages of the surrounding buildings makes an arresting urban statement.
Sustainability is one of Swiss Re’s four core values and the new structure has been designed to meet, and where possible exceed, cutting-edge sustainable building standards. Swiss Re is committed to using ecologically sound building materials that represent no danger to health. A low-emission energy supply is an integral part of the plan and the new building is based on the 2000 Watt Society criteria.The construction method selected will allow overall energy consumption to be reduced by almost two-thirds compared to the existing building, and a portion of this energy will be independently generated by a photovoltaic array set into the roof.
A pioneering approach to transport
A joined-up transport policy was developed for the building project in cooperation with the city of Zurich council as early as the planning phase, and this will promote both public transport and ecologically responsible private mobility. Swiss Re Next enjoys direct links to the public transport network and is easily reached on foot or by bicycle. Despite the larger number of workplaces, Swiss Re is committed to reducing the number of company parking spaces by about a quarter to a maximum of 152 parking spaces. Innovations include covered parking for 80 bicycles and charging stations for electric vehicles. Swiss Re has a long history of encouraging its employees to use hybrid and electric vehicles through generous subsidies and a number of other programmes promoting ecological thinking.
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