Geneva || Switzerland
The building envelope is a critical detail in design, fulfilling a functional - especially for energy performance - and an aesthetic role. When the Swiss-based Société Privée de Gérance (SPG) decided to redo its Geneva headquarters, it chose to focus on a new architectural look, working closely with Stahlbau Pichler. The Giovanni Vaccarini architecture practice designed a façade that cleverly merges considerations about appearance and architectural value, with function, boosting energy efficiency and internal comfort through an innovative recladding project. The new look can best be described as kinetic, with glass extensions used on the façade adding dynamism that shrouds the building in a haze of dematerialized lines and shapes. The architect drew inspiration from Kandinsky, deciding to adorn the
exterior with “fins” in screen-printed glazing, with an irregular rhythm to add depth to the façade. This regulates the amount of sun that reaches the interior, without detracting from the view looking outwards. The designer likes to call it an “augmented window” as it uses transparency and reflection to amplify the surrounding panorama. The white, screen printed dots on the sunscreens become less dense near the wall, exalting the envelope’s evanescent appearance. In the light of day, it looks light, with a hazy silhouette, but at night it mutates into an urban lantern, as the white LEDs illuminate the glass flaps, making them look like blades of light. Stahlbau Pichler’s involvement in the project was to create and assemble the double envelope, based on operable internal window cells and fixed external ones. It also created the support components for the sunscreens. The steel parts were specifically attached to the glass to reduce the visual encumbrance without impinging on transparency and making the glass the metal reflections. The envelope provides sound and thermal insulation, but also allows open views and natural ventilation, all while providing sunscreening. And it turns the building into a quality architectural landmark. The result is an ever changing, transforming building, balancing material lightness and concrete dissipation.
Via Edison, 15 - I - 39100 Bolzano
Tel. +39 0471 065000
E-mail: email@example.com - www.stahlbaupichler.com