Novartis Square 3

SQUARE 3 is a mid-rise office building that is part of a larger redevelopment project to transform Novartis Pharma’s headquarters from an industrial and production based facility into a modern research and administration campus, enriched with greenery and parks.

The design of the building has been largely influenced by Novartis’ new working environment guidelines known as “The New Multi-Space Concept,” which calls for an open and transparent office environment encouraging mobility, adaptability, and interaction between the various research groups. Given these requirements, the stair and elevator cores were shifted to alternating ends of the building to give the working space a clear diagonal view across the entire floor and enhance the transparency of the working environment. A sloping aluminum panel ceiling reinforces this diagonality and creates a radially symmetric spatial configuration. Furthermore, stepping double-height spaces are located at either end of the building to create a continuous and interconnected office space throughout all 5 floors. At the ground floor, the interior is sheathed in warm colors and materials (maple wood, teakwood stone, etc.), relating to the park to be built adjacent to the building.

The facade is highly transparent with an all glass unitized curtain wall system that has been designed in accordance with very stringent environmental system requirements. The assembly consists of 4 layers of glass with an internal motorized shade screen to minimize heat gain and glare. Through the use of clear glass, ceramic frit, and white aluminum panel, the outer layer of glass has a variety of appearances – ranging from transparent, translucent, to opaque. This simple system creates an all white building with a continuously changing appearance throughout the day.

Location: Basel, Switzerland
Completion Date: 2009
Building Type: Office
Structural System: Reinforced Concrete
Number of Floors: 2 Basements Levels + 5 Stories
Site Area: N/A
Building Area: 924m²
Total Floor Area: 6,150m²
Architect of Record: Zwimpfer Partner
Structural Engineer: ZPF Ingenieure AG
Mechanical / Electrical Engineer: Todt Gümr + Partner Inc.
■ Notes
Lighting Design:Licht Kunst Licht AG / Signage & Graphics / Stauffenegger + Stutz GmbH
Electrical Engineer:Sytek AG
Plumbing Engineer:Locher / Schwittay Gebaudeteknik GmbH
Facade Consultant:PP Engineering GmbH
a+u:2012.7 Special Issue