After winning the competition for “New Headquarters for Swatch and New Production Buildings for Omega” in Biel (Switzerland), Shigeru Ban’s proposal is now under construction.
The site is a developing area, exposed to several revitalization interventions; the proposal aims to mantain the old Omega buildings and integrate them in the new project. This “conservative” solution helps the project to follow its double direction: attention to existing landscape and to brand identity.
The central building shows a light structure and elevates on pillars; it acts like a connective space, hosting the overlapping functional areas between the two companies and serving also as an Omega and Swatch museum.
Both Omega’s New Production Building and Swatch Headquarters will be timber-framed, but while the former is simple and linear, the latter is curved and semi-circular. This sinuous construction allowes circulation from one plaza to the other and clearly expresses its structure as much as the brand identity: wooden “swatch” crossing points alternate with a translucent envelope.