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terça-feira, 6 de março de 2012

Swatch Group investe nas sedes da Swatch e Omega em Biel

O Swatch Group planeia a construção de novos edifícios para as marcas Swatch e Omega, bem como o reaproveitamento dos edifícios existentes e de toda a área que ocupa na Rue Jakob-Stämpfli, em Biel.

Sobre estes grandes investimentos, que visam o aumento da produção, diz a Fédération Hologère:

Omega and Swatch are set to renovate and expand their headquarters in Biel. The plot adjacent to the existing site has been purchased for this purpose. Three new buildings are planned, which will be constructed in keeping with the most modern environmental and energy efficiency standards. They will be integrated into the existing landscape both architecturally and from a town planning perspective.

An architecture competition organised in 2010 saw the jury, one year later, choose the project by world famous Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, who in 2007 produced for the Swatch Group the «Nicolas Hayek Center» and its «climbing garden» in Tokyo. In this new project, the Japanese architect particularly impressed with an architectural design closely reflecting the image of both brands. In addition, he took into account the existing environment while at the same time, in remarkable fashion, integrating Omega’s old buildings, which have protected status and bear witness to the city’s industrial heritage.

Running adjacent to the Rue de Gottstatt, a central timber-framed building – slightly raised on piles – will house under a single roof a number of services common to Omega and Swatch (shared conference rooms for example), as well as other Swatch Group units. It will also be home to the Swatch, Omega and Swatchmobile museums. On the upper floor there will be an oval-shaped auditorium covered by the shell-like structure of the Swatch building. A walkway will span the Rue de Gottstatt, providing access to the Swatch building on the other side of the street.

With its interlaced timber work, the Swatch building – the brand’s new headquarters – will wind its way along the Rue Jakob-Stämpfli. The front of the building will house all areas of the business in contact with customers, such as exhibition rooms, customer service and a Swatch boutique. Its middle section will comprise offices for management, administration, marketing and sales, as well as related services. Delivery and dispatch areas and warehouses will be located at the rear.

This building’s timber cell structure affords ideal protection from the sun and offers optimal levels of natural light, thanks to alternating windows and timber elements in the shape of a cross which also add a specifically Swatch flavour to the entire structure. Small balconies have even been provided for smokers.

The new Omega production and logistics centre, with its timber framework, will be constructed in the western part of the site and will house finishing workshops, areas devoted to training and exhibitions, as well as offices attached to these activities. A guided tour with information panels will give visitors an insight into production. This high-precision construction, which in remarkable fashion reflects the brand’s values, will be decorated with sunshades that also provide modular advertising space.

Under the roof of the Swatch building spanning the Rue de Gottstatt to link up with the main building, pride of place will go to the Hayek Plaza, a public meeting place where vehicles will be subject to speed restrictions.

Existing vegetation has also been taken into account in the new landscape design of the two sites and will be supplemented by the planting of new trees and shrubs. On the southern perimeter, there will be an embankment following the course of a small river which will become an integral part of the relaxation area linked to the complex.

Carried out under the supervision of Hayek Engineering, work will start this November and is scheduled for completion in the summer of 2015.

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