Richemont Headquarters

  • Geneva, Switzerland
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Bellevue site is touching with its hundred-year-old cedars, its light and tangled trees, its old chalets, its relief, its view over the lake. It is calm like an estate anachronistically spared by the urban development.


One can have the desire that it remains as it is.


One can also have the desire to live there. I am trying here to solve this contradiction by infiltrating an architecture that is impregnated with the landscape and that impregnates itself in the landscape.


Ambiguity of the transparencies, the reflects, the stratification of glass layouts and vegetation layouts, architecture of dematerialization of illusion and pleasure.


Offices are always in between two landscapes. Glasses are ultralight or screen-printed with the shadows of the trees, or slightly glimmering, or unevenly sandblasted or out of glass pixelizing the image according to the places and the confidentiality to be protected.


The longest building makes use of its outstanding size to surround two linear patios. The materials for floors and ceilings, out of shiny varnish wood, accentuate the reflects of the long glass partitions. Both other constructed buildings converse in the distance, get reconstructed one according to the other with the same type of interior materials, same transparencies and interference with the trees surrounding and penetrating into them. The chalets are the purpose of an archaeological research to develop the richer details and the interior design the most adequate with the history of this historical swiss testimony.


A poetry comes from the contrast between these historical monuments and the new evanescent buildings. For this delicate place, virtuosity is a prerequisite since the lightness of architecture alone can secure this presence-absence and make a show of this apparent withdrawal.



Jean Nouvel