Urban Filter Office Building

Geneva, N/A / Switzerland


Set on a triangular urban site, the design leverages the unique form and solar orientation of the building to root itself into the urban environment in a way which is responsive to climate and the needs of building users. A glass curtainwall is shingled in both plan and section around the building in a counterclockwise orientation; mirrored stainless tell verticals between the "scales" passively reflect desirable morning daylight while shading the interior spaces from undesirable late-afternoon western light. User-controlled operable louvers concealed by the glass "scales" ventilate the building naturally without obstructing daylight and views.

The sculptural character of the shingled-glass façade is accentuated by the gently-curving geometry, allowing the building to take on different characters depending on the viewer's perspective. Viewed from the west, only the mirrored stainless panels are visible and the building appears opaque; from other perspectives, the façade mirrors the ever-changing sky, reflecting the climate which inspired its design.

The stone base of the building gently rolls across the adjacent ground plane like a carpet, integrating itself with the urban context. Sidewalk perforations host benches and trees reflected in the glass curtain wall. At street level the building façade gently peels inward to suggest entry.

Architect of record

John Ronan
John Ronan Architects
420 West Huron Street
Chicago, IL 60654, USA
Phone: 312-951-6600
Fax: 312-951-6544

Consultant 1

Edward Peck
Thornton Tomasetti - Building Skin Practice
330 North Wabash Avenue, Suite 1500
Chicago, IL 60611, USA
Phone: 312-596-2424