Swatch Omega SO51, Biel | 2011

On the  'Omega & Gygax-area' in Biel, Switzerland, the new headquarter of Swatch AG and Omega SA, both sister companies of the Swatch Group AG, will be realized. The winner of the architectural contest for this project was the team Shigeru Ban Architects together with Blaser Architekten AG acting as local architect, Hermann Blumer dipl. Ing. ETH as woodwork engineer, Transsolar Klima Engineering as energy consultant and Fontana landscape architecture. The outline of Shigeru Ban interprets the parameters of the contest as follows: the new headquarter shall represent unity and identity to the location.

This approach is achieved with the choice of materials and building concepts. The specific classical volumes of Omega meets the playful organic structures of Swatch: all new buildings will though have the same state-of-the-art energy and woodwork technology. The planned common head building of both companies leaves enough space for the old buildings. Physically cohesive they form the Omega Plaza, the Nikolas Hayek Plaza and the main entrance of the new Swatch area. The originally designated three new buildings of Swatch AG merge to a sustained volume which connects via the Hayek Plaza the Omega area.  Car parkings will be moved on both sides of the area on the spatial axis which allows clearer access to both companies and spatial understanding of the whole area.