Gehry Partners, LLP
The Novartis building by Gehry Partners is part of the Masterplan for Novartis, designed by Vittorio Magnano Lampugnani, that will transform the St. Johann site, its headquarters in Basel, from an industrial complex to a campus of innovation, knowledge and encounter.
The new campus will offer Novartis employees and visitors an environment for intensive levels of communication and work, which is ultra-modern, very functional, and aesthetically pleasing.
The concept of openness, spaces flowing together, played a major factor in the design. The public areas, a restaurant and café, are located on the ground floor, which opens to the Campus Green. The Human Resources Departments occupy the five upper levels with a number of small public areas to encourage people to meet spontaneously for coffee or to hold informal meetings.
Below ground is the Learning Factory for all campus employees,
and a 600-seat auditorium with a glass ceiling and skylight
connecting it to the Campus Green above. The auditorium can be
divided into two separate rooms to hold simultaneous
A central atrium unites the building sections and reinforces
visibility by allowing natural light to flow from the roof through
all office floors and down to the underground levels where the
auditorium lobby is located. The concept of openness and
transparency is reinforced by the use of glass in the building's
The development of the architecture and the materials used
exemplifies Novartis's commitment to the environment. To reduce
direct solar heat gain the glass facades are coated with ceramic
frits and the glass roof panels contain photovoltaic cells that
generate the energy necessary to power artificial lighting for the
The long-term Masterplan by Vittorio Lampugnani includes not only architecture and landscaping but also functional, traffic-planning, and cultural considerations. The conversion will proceed in stages with the replacement of obsolete buildings taking place on a step by step basis. Other buildings on the campus are also by international architects. The campus landscape architects are Peter Walker and Günther Vogt Landscape Architects.
The 20 hectares site will eventually house a staff of 10,000 in the areas of Group Services, Pharmaceuticals, Research & Development, Marketing and Administration. The Novartis campus will be a pioneer of the high performance workplace.
Facts about Novartis Building
Gehry Partners, LLP
Partner In Charge:
Project Manager /Architects:
Principal Project Team:
Patricia Eva Schneider
Schematic Design Project Team:
Arcoplan / Nissen & Wentzlaff
Schlaich Bergermann und Partner
Emmer Pfenninger Partner AG
Aicher De Martin Zweng
McKay Conant Brook Inc. & Gruner AG
Photographed by Thomas Mayer
Last updated: December 19, 2013