Architecture à Genève et en Suisse Romande

Crédit Suisse rénovation

Modern Architecture

Architects: Buchner Bründler Architekten

Location: Place de Bel-air 2, Geneva. Switzerland

Project date: 2012-2014

Photographs: Daniela Tonatiuh

From the architect. The building has housed the central headquarters of Credit Suisse since 1930 and offers an open courtyard typology. Its façade is austere in cut stone in very vertical proportions. Heavily transformed during the twentieth century, these works made it loose its substance and originality. In 2011, the bank decided to give a second life to this building standing at the foot of the old town by the Rhône. The scheme consists in reinterpreting its original characteristics. Firstly, by emptying its centre to create an interior atrium all in white concrete with a very abstract structure which gives a sober elegance to this reference space in the project, the client welcoming area, which is slightly softened by glass structures slanting in the void and filled with sanded glass to ensure the confidentiality required of the function. A roof composed of hundreds of glass spheres ensures its coverage and lets in natural light. Secondly, by “cleaning” the elements of the façade removing what time had added and restoring the slender proportions. A series of tinted precast concrete components, giving a contemporary style to the envelope, was added to the retained, enhanced stone. The cornice and loft storey have been entirely rebuilt in concrete with larger windows than in the 1930s version


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