Back in 2013, Japanese architect Shigeru Ban (previously) won a competition to design a campus of timber buildings to house the headquarters of watch brands Swatch and Omega in Biel, Switzerland. Now, after almost 5 years of construction, the campus was completed with an inaugural ceremony taking place last week.
The shimmering, curved silhouette of the new Swatch building breaks with the conventions of classic office building architecture and blends harmoniously into the urban environment. A timber grid shell forms the basic structure, a material chosen for its ecological and sustainable properties, but also because the area is known for its timber engineering school.
The approximately 4,600 beams of the timber grid shell were all sourced locally, and amount to roughly 10 hours of growth of Switzerland’s entire tree population. You can read more about the project on Shigeru Ban’s website, as well as on Swatch. (via architecturephoto)