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Roche to develop alternative project to planned office high-rise


Objective remains to consolidate all workplaces in Basel at headquarters

Roche has decided for technical reasons not to continue with its office high-rise in the form originally planned. It became apparent during the project design phase that the building would not be capable of satisfying key functional requirements despite the high investment. Furthermore, the planned building would be very complex to maintain and operate. Nevertheless, Roche intends to consolidate the 1,700-plus off-site workplaces in Basel at its headquarters, and to this end will prepare an alternative project. The company will still be able to adhere to its existing time schedule.

“This was not an easy decision to take”, said Franz B. Humer, Chairman of Roche’s Board of Directors. “All our projects ultimately have to withstand an exhaustive business analysis. But the professional development work carried out by everyone involved in planning the building deserves great recognition.”

Severin Schwan, CEO of the Roche Group adds: “After examining the project closely, we came to the conclusion that although the office high-rise was feasible, it was unable to meet all our functional requirements. The planning team’s experience will now be put to good use in developing an alternative approach to provide for the required office space.”

Roche had intended to submit its building application for the high-rise in the second quarter of 2009. Given the scale of the project, Roche took the conscious step of briefing employees, neighbours, the city of Basel and other stakeholders about its intention at a very early stage in autumn 2006. In the course of the development work it became apparent that the scheme would not be able to meet important requirements. For example, the company would have had to forego a large 500-seat auditorium and several central meeting rooms. Roche will now develop an alternative project, which will continue the company’s architectural heritage as well as meeting its functional needs. Roche’s architecture in Basel has been an expression of its culture for the past 112 years since it was founded.


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