World Trade Organization (WTO) / Wittfoht Architekten

Architects: Wittfoht Architekten
Area: 14,500 m²
Year: 2013
Photography: Brigida González
Structural Physics: Bobran Ingenieure
General Contractor: Implenia Entreprise Générale SA
Electrical Engineering: MAB-Ingénierie SA
Structural Engineering: Schlaich Bergermann Partner
Energy Engineering: Transsolar Energietechnik GmbH
Domestic Engineering: Weinmann-Energies SA
Client: World Trade Organization (WTO)
City: Geneva
Country: Switzerland

The World Trade Organization (WTO) extension in Geneva, designed by Wittfoht Architekten and completed in 2013, covers 14,500 m². This project, winning an international competition, integrates seamlessly into its unique city and lake surroundings. The design emphasizes openness, transparency, and flexibility, blending old and new structures while preserving the site’s natural elements.

World trade organization / wittfoht architekten

After winning the international architectural design competition, Wittfoht Architekten from Stuttgart were commissioned to extend the World Trade Organization headquarters in Geneva. The new administrative building aims to create a sense of openness and transparency.

World trade organization / wittfoht architekten

The site, blending city and lake surroundings, features a lakeside wooden park and existing WTO buildings, crucial to the project. The new building complements the urban setting, integrating functional constraints while maintaining a respectful distance from the old structures, enhancing the outdoor area.

The extension’s dimensions were confined to the former car park, preserving existing trees and avoiding additional sealed-off areas. Visitors are guided from the main gate through the old building, across a footbridge, into the main lobby of the extension. The new building consists of a ground-level base structure and a suspended glass structure, creating a smaller appearance and blending into the park.

The base structure houses mass catering facilities, with a roof deck serving as a viewing platform and a terrace expanding the restaurant toward the lake. The floating glass volume above contains administration and office areas, designed for flexibility, accommodating various office layouts from single offices to open-plan spaces. The modular façade supports this flexibility, allowing free positioning of dividing walls. All workstations receive ample daylight and have pleasant outdoor connections. The building core and infrastructural facilities are centrally located for easy navigation, with additional spiral staircases promoting internal communication.

World trade organization / wittfoht architekten

The glass structure, designed as a double façade, allows natural ventilation and reduces the building’s perceived size, incorporating it playfully into the park area.

The goal was to achieve high transparency and openness through a clear, flexible design, creating a bright, timelessly modern appearance.

World trade organization / wittfoht architekten
Project Gallery
Project Location

Address: 154 Rue de Lausanne, Geneva 1202, Switzerland

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