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Shigeru Ban reveals designs for Swatch HQ

Japanese superstar Shigeru Ban has revealed images of his competition-winning project for the Swatch and Omega headquarters in Switzerland

Three new buildings will sit next to Omega’s existing offices on the campus site, including a visitor centre housing exhibition galleries. There are also plans for new public plazas and a riverside walk.

According to the archuitect, the design takes its influence from watchmaking and will be constructed from timber, which Ban described as the ‘only renewable material for construction in the world’.

The Swatch headquarters will feature a timber gridshell.

Ban will work with the local timber institution on developing the buildings. He previously worked with the institution in Biel to test the timber structure of his Pompidou Centre in Metz.

Shigeru Ban commented on the win: ‘I wanted to design something very special and particularly appropriate for this city. And I know that Biel is very famous for its timber technologies – they have the most advanced timber institution. So this city is well known for the timber technology – the most advanced timber technology, that’s why most of the building is designed with timber.

‘And this building – this project – is going to be very important not only for the company, but also for creating a new environment, creating the icon for the city of Biel. So this is the aim for this project – not only for functional reasons’.

A local team of architects and engineers to complete the project.

Ban previously designed a building for Swatch in Tokyo back in 2005.

The project is due to complete in 2015.

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