When Swatch Group Ltd, the world’s largest watchmaking and jewelry company (including the brands Breguet, Blancpain, Omega, Harry Winston), commissioned star architect Shigeru Ban to design its new headquarters in Biel, Switzerland, it was bound to be an iconic collaboration. And with thousands of CLT and glulam components, it was not a small project either. The result is an unforgettable, beautifully unconventional commercial complex. It accommodates three office buildings, two museums, a conference hall, a five-storey headquarters measuring 25,000 m2, and a four-storey fabrication facility for Omega watches. The honeycomb timber facade is just one of the outstanding aspects of a design that unequivocally exhibits mass timber’s potential as a building material.
- Timber sourced from sustainably managed Swiss forests
- Swatch estimates that the wood used for the Omega brand’s building is replenished in Swiss forests in 2.6 hours
- Glulam beams used in all three buildings were manufactured with LOCTITE HB S309 and HB 181