Up in the air
The office building designed by Herzog & de Meuron is the headquarters of the F.Hoffmann-La Roche AG in Basel and a clear commitment to Switzerland as a location. At 178 meters, it is actually Switzerland's tallest structure. It provides ideal working conditions for up to 2,000 employees.
The office areas are complemented by a restaurant, a café, conference rooms, an auditorium and the top floor lounge.
Building 1 is an important milestone in the implementation of innovative working methods at the company. One key concept is activity-based working, which involves working without fixed workplace in different settings depending on the tasks to be performed.
This includes open room layouts with informal meeting zones to encourage employees to collaborate. Herzog & de Meuron have tackled this in their iconic building by creating open communication areas that extend across multiple floors and are linked by open spiral staircases.
The signage created by unit-design was in response to the requirements that arose as a result of the new working methods.
For example, newly developed pictograms indicate the different types of work. Taking the Roche design guidelines and the specific architecture as a basis produced minimalist and functional signage that fits seamlessly into its surroundings.
The subtle design of the contoured floor identification signs is a special feature, with their white surfaces distinguished from the background, which is also white, only by the black layers on their reverse sides and the shadows that they cast.
This detail recurs in lettering in the various food and drink areas with reverse-facing colored layers to suit their respective surroundings.
The logo for the Pebbles Lounge on the 38th floor was a particular challenge. The CNC-machined rigid foam body was altered by hand on site to match the glass waves of the substrate and to form a single unit.