New office building ABR 5, Rotkreuz

The new office tower for Roche Diagnostics emerged from an invited competition which called for an energy-efficient high-rise building in the tradition of Roche's specific architectural language. The purpose of the high-rise building was to bring together the administration units (including 625 workplaces) which had previously been distributed among different buildings. This Burckhardt+Partner project won the competition in 2008. 

The 68m-high building, which can be seen from afar, is the landmark of the Roche Diagnostics company site in Rotkreuz, directly at the three-way highway junction between Zurich, Lucerne and Gotthard. Not only does the glass skin make it possible to look inside from the exterior and enable views from the interior, it also reflects the surroundings and the sky, depending on the weather conditions.The tower is vertically subdivided into a 6m-high foyer, 13 office floors and a two-story top level with conference rooms, auditorium and sky lobby. Public and non-public areas differ from each other due to the use of different materials; the central core of exposed concrete connects all areas visually. 

The office floors have a classic flexible high-rise layout: pillar-free open-plan group offices, with inserted glass cubes for individual offices and meeting rooms, surround the central core, which provides access and supply. From the communication zones with kitchenettes, two open spiral staircases on each floor, arranged in a staggered formation around the core, lead either to the floor above or to the floor below. This results in vertical visual references and short communication routes. 

The efficient support structure is composed of the diagonal facade supports, made of cream-colored precast concrete elements, each of which extends over 4 floors in a rhombic pattern, together with the exposed concrete core and the reinforced concrete slabs suspended between the core and the facade supports. The “closed cavity facade”, used here for the first time, constitutes an enhancement of the double-skin facade with a closed intermediate space in combination with decentralized ventilation devices. 

The key element of the sustainable energy supply is a combination of heat pump and cooling unit, along with borehole heat exchangers connected in series, and thermally activated concrete slabs. 

Roche Diagnostics AG, Rotkreuz

Period of time
2008 – 2011

Architecture, General planning

Thomas Jantscher