WTO - WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION
GENÈVE - SWITZERLAND
CONCEPTUAL APROACH TO THE BULDING
GRADUATION OF VISUAL PERCEPTION
When passing through Rue de Lausanne, in both directions, the visual relationship with the landscape is conceived by an idea of graduation from large to smaller spaces in between the urban composition pieces.
The fact of constituting the first contact between people/public space and WTO headquarters is taken into account, towards a very simple and harmonic conception. The building is born from the ground, profiting from the topographical shape, and lives in between the trees. It has a very organic shape, due to its context and as a way of distinguish from the massive volumes that surrounds him.
The building rises trough the vegetation imposing a relationship of humbleness and respect with its environment.
There are two main aspect that emphases this symbiotic dance.
The first one is trough nature, where there is an idea of orderly block where chaos finds an order, a rule. There is no chaos. Everything has a reason.
The second one is the light dialog established between the new building and the old where the respect and the connection point emphasize a sign of humbleness.
The building is read as an agglomeration of three different volumes, that also explains the interior spatial hierarchy. First, one that makes the reception/entrance and the connection to the existing building - with an embracing void. Second, one that is pushed to the limit, that has a positive tension with the green mass of trees. Third, the space between the first two, worked as a space of connection, concentration and enlighten of the whole extension building.
The two separate blades of concrete that share a space of distribution, give birth to the tension created between both exorcises - a controlled area with great verticality. Its a game of scales and proportion.
The aim was to create sensation along every space of the building with a strong connection to a central agglomerating space. This also meets the (desired) multivalent character of the building, as it is possible to assure the spatial working quality, even if the offices walls are taken off and the work space functions as a whole.
There is a tension between the old building and the first blade, that forms an exterior area where the entrance is made. The tension is an obvious reflex of the interaction between the two volumes. The entrance of the building is the first step into the concrete blades.
The use of with concrete is an opinion based on the impact and a way of gaining weight, contrasting with the building blades shape. The dichotomy in the material is the use of a material within itself, the white color of the concrete as a construction material. The two main material that one could apprehend are concrete and glass. The white concrete as a solid structure interrupted by a chaotic negative of Cristal material (glass). In a way, the material itself shows the force of the concrete together with the fragility of the glass. The material have a low impact and materials require little maintenance.
NOTION OF SUSTAINMENT DEVELOPMENT
The concern was to implement energy efficient measures, the use of passive solar systems (heating and cooling), the integration of active solar systems, thermal, photo voltaic, and to collect rainwater.
Low operating costs and lifespan of the building are an aim to achieve, which bears its foundation in architecture, an intelligent use of natural resources.
Envelope optimization, reducing the building thermal loads;
Isolated facades with a direct gain system using ventilated facade;
Photo voltaic rooftop;
Passive cooling by buried tubes;
Ventilation and natural daylighting systems;
Active solar system for space heating.
Energy recourses controlled by energy control system for efficiency
Create a less dependence of electrical light vs. daylight
Possible of (GLN) system- geothermic for heating and cooling (lake)
This Building aims to be an example of passive design both for heating and cooling. It contains a direct gain system assisted by a solar thermal system for winter conditions.
In summer a ground cooling system (buried pipes) is used to cool the building, together with night cooling strategies that make use of the large hall in the middle of the blades.
It also integrate in the rooftop envelope a Photovoltaic System which aims to provide at least 50% of the electric energy consumption of the building.
The use of a solar passive, and active systems in this building, will consequently reduce the energy consumption.
The use of solid concrete structure with the use of another interior wall will provide an essential air barrier that can be controlled in different periods of the year making a cold or warm air barrier that can be used in each office cell.
Water was also an issue that was a concern making the rain water available thought a collector of the rain from the roof and collecting it for the use of the entire building.
A geothermic like (GNL) solution regarding the heating and cooling would guarantee a controlled temperature during the summer, since the temperature underground is during the summer circa 10Cº colder than the outside air and during the winter making use of the temperature amplitude. This is accomplished with the optimization of all systems since there are no perfect solutions.