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Roche confirms site development plans: go-ahead for office high-rise


Following a comprehensive feasibility study, Building 1 is now set to become the new centrepiece at Roche Basel.
The plans announced by Roche roughly a year ago for the further development of its Basel headquarters targeted the creation of some 2,400 workplaces on its main site in the Wettstein district of the city. With the feasibility study completed, the company’s Board of Directors and Corporate Executive Committee have now given the green light to the planned high-rise office scheme.

Roche submitted a development plan to the city of Basel last autumn and is now liaising with the municipal authorities on the statutory planning process. Meanwhile, the detail design work is proceeding apace, preparatory to the submission of a formal planning application.

As Matthias M. Baltisberger, Head of Roche Basel, explains, “For us, the positive outcome of the feasibility study represents a major step forward in realising our vision of uniting at our Basel headquarters a workforce that is currently scattered about the city in various rented premises.”

Apart from bringing home to the main site some 1,700 employees who are currently accommodated in ten rented facilities around the city, the office high-rise will also respond to Roche’s growing floorspace needs. In the course of the feasibility study, external experts and Roche’s own engineers delivered a positive assessment of various issues, including practicability, structural design, cost frame and earthquake resistance. Specific achievements included a further optimisation of the building configuration, coupled with enhancements in security, energy efficiency and workplace appeal.

The office high-rise in brief:

* Scheduled start on site: 2009
* Height: 154 m
* Storey count: 42
* Floorspace: 75,000 m2
* Costs: approx. CHF 550 m
* Energy efficiency: Swiss Minergie standard
* Earthquake-resistant construction
* Special features: Building 1 will form the main entrance to Roche’s Basel site and will also house a visitor centre and an auditorium.
* Scheduled completion: 2012

Roche site development policy
Like previous schemes at Roche Basel, the current development project is based on a planning strategy that guarantees maximum flexibility and allows the company to adapt quickly to its ever-changing needs. The strategy aims to bring together the global and corporate functions on the site area south of the Grenzacherstrasse, with the infrastructure-intensive research, development and production units located on the site north of the road. Apart from meeting operational requirements, Roche attaches top priority, as with all its new-build schemes, to upholding the high standards of industrial architecture for which it is renowned.

Roche Basel southern site area / Building 1
Accommodating some 2,400 office workplaces, the new Building 1 will be sited on the southern part of the Roche site (between the Rhine and Grenzacherstrasse), where it will replace an 80-year-old structure. Developed on the basis of functional requirements and in close consultation with the city authorities, the high-rise architectural composition will sit happily in its urban context.


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