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Efficient light in Geneva
1/14/2014

The new WTO extension building for some 300 staff members offers a compelling view out over Lake Geneva and with its sense of lightness and the elegance of its facades certainly catches the eye. The idea was to create an extension that was a transparent as possible and did not seem at all solid in order to blend in best with the surrounding park and the existing Centre William Rappard, erected in 1926. The reduced formal vocabulary chosen by Stuttgart’s wittfoht architekten certainly fosters such an approach: The company proposed a long, glass cube on a set-back plinth and boasting glazed frontage.

Nevertheless, the project set out to achieve high energy efficiency levels and obtain Swiss Minergie-P certification. Thanks to ingenious facilities technology, a heat recovery system and the use of Nimbus LED luminaires, this ambitious target was achieved even with the entire glass frontage chosen.

All the luminaires in the building, be they ceiling, wall, pendant or standard lamps, rely on LEDs and thus help save energy. Sensors control ambient and daylight levels adjusting the brightness at desks and meeting tables. Compared to conventional workstation illumination, the intelligent controls of the Nimbus Office Air LED standard lamps reduces power consumption by 80 percent – and fit perfectly in the elegant building.

The cube, which seems to hover, fits well into the building complex which dates back to 1926. Photo © Brigida González
The cube, which seems to hover, fits well into the building complex which dates back to 1926. Photo © Brigida González
The bright colors that are also used on the office floors emphasize the building’s elegant appearance. Photo © Brigida González
Energy efficiency is boosted by the Nimbus LED luminaires, in this example the Modul R luminaires. Photo © Brigida González
For all the energy efficiency, the Nimbus luminaires round out the building’s elegant look. Photo © Brigida González
The lobby and other shared facilities are located in the plinth zone.</br>Photo © Brigida González
The new build’s transparency is especially compelling at night – and yet remains highly energy efficient. Photo © Brigida González
The Nimbus Modul R luminaires boast 277 diodes. Photo © Brigida González

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