Swiss precision

Zurich, Switzerland

A new extension for the Swiss offices of Ernst &Young Ltd

The well-known auditing company Ernst & Young recently inaugurated a new wing at its Zurich headquarters. Just a stone’s throw from the railway station, the new Platform Office completes the project for the headquarters, and joins the tall PrimeTower and the lower-rise buildings, Cubus and Diagonal. The complex has been arranged around a large central square, connected directly to the adjoining cycle track, with a pedestrian walkway and an underpass that leads directly to the station.

The Platform Office, designed by Annette Gigon and Mike Guyer, consists of seven floors above ground that increase in floorspace as they progress upwards. The horizontal dimension is emphasized by panes of dark glass and the balconies on the facade; this contrasts with the height of the tower and becomes the ideal extension. The interiors have been designed with flexibility the main feature; the vertical components are all located in the central section of the building. In this way, floors one to seven can be split into a greater number of offices if required, or they can be subdivided into four separate properties. In structural terms, the architects opted for a construction system that restricted the use of load-bearing columns and walls. This would facilitate and simplify any demolition or reconstruction interventions in the future. The large lobby on the ground floor acts as the main entrance and allows direct access to all of the staff facilities: the restaurant, the coffee bar and the auditorium. The conference room has been created on the first floor, while the upper floors contain the offices that can accommodate 1000 members of staff.

USM, a company specialized in the production of design furniture, supplied the furnishings. Inside the Platform Office, there are very few workstations for just one or two people; approximately 25% of the staff share a desk with their colleagues. Thanks to the versatile solutions available in the USM catalogue, the offices have been equipped with modular systems. The predominant colors are matt silver for the storage containers, used to separate the different operational areas, and the pearl gray of the tables – all in all, the general design has been based on clean lines and delicate colors for furnishings that will last over the years.

The facade of Platform Office. The glass façade, created with windows and balconies in smoked glass, is adequately sound-proofed thanks to the use of double glazing.

A view of the entrance foyer, flooded with natural light, forms an internal open area and links the entrance with the office level floors.

One of the few individual offices in the complex, with its sharp furnishing style created with USM Haller units

The workstations are shared by several people; the spaces are dotted with USM Haller low-level storage units in silver gray.

Credits: 

Texte: Francesca Tagliabue, Projet: Annette Gigon / Mike Guyer, Architectes, Zurich, Photo: Walter Mair, Thies Wacher, Editorial: OfArch Magazine 

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