Uetlihof 2 – New Credit Suisse headquarters
Jun 27, 2013

The largest office building in Switzerland, no less, has been erected for Credit Suisse at the foot of the Uetliberg in Zurich. Having added a further 2,000 jobs, the bank will soon employ 8,000 members in the complex with the tranquil name Uetlihof. Even its 1976 predecessor met cutting-edge standards, and it goes without saying that the new edifice, designed by Stücheli Architekten, was intended to do so on present-day terms. In collaboration with the Universities of Zurich and Lucerne, furniture manufacturers, and Zumtobel, customized solutions were found not just for the working areas, but in the field of energy efficiency, too. The new building requires just 10 % of the energy inputs that were the norm in the 1970s when the first section was built. Given that today the heat given off by the computer center can be used to heat the new building, this is no surprise. Together with optimized thermal insulation, the edifice meets the Swiss MINERGIE P-ECO Standard for its extremely low energy consumption.

Irregularly shaped panels referred to as a “Blätterwald”, or forest of leaves, serve to cool the offices and also improve the acoustics in them. For this reason the lighting no longer comes from above but from free-standing LED luminaires designed by Zumtobel for the Uetlihof. The reason: so as to be able to fulfill a wide range of requirements, not only the office usage but the lighting concept as well had to be extremely flexible. Various work areas were configured for team and individual workstations, while zones with names such as “Business Garden”, “Think Tanks” and “Quiet Zones” refer to the desired diversity with regard to forms of communication and working. That said, planning informal encounters and the exchange of information is actually a contradiction in terms, as office concepts can only make various provisions for smart working.

With flexible work areas such as these, the lighting concept also has to be variable. To this end Zumtobel developed the SFERA free-standing luminaire: its intelligent technology means it adapts to the employers’ activities and viewing habits. Furthermore, in order to provide optimum lighting in a room, SWARMCONTROL technology coordinates the individual luminaires by means of ultrasound and a built-in radio module. When an office is fully occupied, light sensors ensure even, bright overall light, which is personally adjustable, in other words can be brightened or dimmed. When only some workstations are being used the luminaires tone down the basic brightness in the office. Should an employee enter, however, motion detectors can respond accordingly and increase the level of brightness. This planar light management not only ensures good overall lighting, it also saves electricity, as, of course, does the LED technology Zumtobel selected.

The extension for Credit Suisse for some 2,000 employees has an irregular octagonal footprint. Photo: © Atelier Altenkirch
The extension for Credit Suisse for some 2,000 employees has an irregular octagonal footprint. Photo: © Atelier Altenkirch
The hybrid cooing ceiling made of adjustable elements also improves the acoustics in the offices; for the light concept Zumtobel designed the free-standing luminaire SFERA. Photo: © Atelier Altenkirch
In open-plan offices SFERA provides bright indirect overall lighting and different levels of lighting at workstations. Photo: © Atelier Altenkirch
Zumtobel Lighting - Smart Working: Credit Suisse (CH) @ youtube
The large windows onto the outside and the three indoor atriums ensure copious natural daylight on the office levels. Photo: © Atelier Altenkirch
SFERA was intended to become a striking upright luminaire for Credit Suisse. It can be personally adjusted to suit individual workstations. Photo: © Atelier Altenkirch
The SWARMCONTROL technology reduces overall lighting in the office if only individual workstations need light. Photo: © Atelier Altenkirch