World Trade Organization, Geneva - new extension in harmony with existing listed buildings administrative building with restaurant and underground parking. Project Description - Urban Planning Concept - the plans for the new extension at the world trade organization (wto) in geneva are primarily determined by the following aspects. The competition site is situated in an unusual location mixing both city and lake surroundings. the lakeside park 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 creates a high- quality, exciting outdoor area between the old and the new extension. The extension complements the urban plan
of the group of buildings. it offers a convincing solution to the cramped conditions in the southern part of the plot and integrates the necessary existing functional requirements. The existing building lines are incorporated and continued in sections. 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 dialogue between old and new. Architectural concept - the dimensions of the extension are limited to the former car park, meaning the existing trees on the site could remain in place and no additional areas had 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 glass 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, the restaurant with kitchen and delivery area, plus a generous exhibition gallery. 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 transparent structure above houses the administration department and offices. the idea is to reach the highest levels of transparency and openness through a clear and flexible building design, which creates a bright, friendly and timelessly modern appearance. it follows the lines of the existing building and opens out towards both the park and main entrance. Characteristics and design - the clever allocation of areas within the building creates spaces for informal meetings and conversations. the office floors offer high flexibly organization. many office organizations are possible – from classical single offices to combined areas and open-plan workspaces. The façade has a modular design and supports the required flexibility of the building. dividing walls can be positioned freely within the building plan. all workstations have an ample supply of daylight and pleasant links to the outdoors. the building core and infrastructural facilities are located in the center of the building, thus making it easy for visitors to find their way around. additional flights of spiral stairs help to promote internal communication between floors. The floor slabs in the new building are supported by four columns. 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. Economic and ecological aspects - the energy and ventilation concept adheres to the applicable minergie-p standards. the office area is split into three thermal zones: - outer zone offices with building element heating/cooling, natural ventilation and mechanical auxiliary source air - inner zone combined zone with mechanical source air - core area stairwells and wc facilities Due to noise protection requirements and the strong lakeside winds, the glass front of the office floors was designed as a double façade, which also allows for natural ventilation. additionally, the trees on the east, south and west side also offer natural shade in summer. The rooms are heated and cooled through active-slab radiation in the concrete ceilings. thermal storage in the exposed concrete walls and ceilings contribute to basic heating, mitigates temperature peaks, and increases 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 forced 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 stacked on all floors for vertical routing of power and data lines. horizontal distribution 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 artificial lighting efficiency, floor-standing luminaries with electric ballasts and motion detectors are used around the workstations. Wittfoht Architekten BDA - Wittfoht Architekten is an internationally active firm of architects based in stuttgart that provides extensive design and planning know-how to a wide range of clients, including leading corporations and private investors. the development of innovative spatial and building concepts determines the strategic core of wittfoht architekten. We believe that the primary mission of architecture is to give a meaning to things, and to put them in a rational and an emotional relationship. architecture must achieve something above and beyond the mere fulfillment of a spatial program. Firm owner prof. jens Wittfoht studied architecture at the technical university of darmstadt. in 1995, he founded petry + wittfoht freie architekten. he held a professorship at the university of applied sciences in frankfurt for architectural design, construction and interior architecture and in 2005 founded Wittfoht Architekten.