Winner 2022

Award for
creative sustainable design at scale that responds to the unique environment

Project Description

This vast administrative building was developed to achieve the highest standards of sustainability and wellbeing, aligning with the UN’s development goals and the Swiss Minergie standard. Strategically responding to a sloping site, the design is a series of cascading terraces. Exposed concrete structural slabs provide thermal mass to help regulate temperatures while integrated pipework within the slabs provides heating and cooling to spaces. This heating and cooling system taps into the existing network of sustainably sourced energy from Lake Geneva.

Judge’s comments

This project has a clear focus on both the environment and the end user. An innovative hybrid timber and concrete structural slab and beam system solution was adopted and significantly reduced the embodied carbon emissions. The timber landscape stairs and the perimeter columns directly use unadorned structures to express the architectural aesthetics. 

A fantastic example of timber concrete composite being used at scale.

Project overview

Structural Designer

  • Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) and INGENI INGENIERIE STRUCTURALE

Client Name

  • United Nations


  • Geneva, Switzerland


  • Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) and Burckhardt + Partner

Principal Contractor

  • Implenia

Key Contractors

  • Burckhardt + Partner – Local Architect

    Nulty Lighting – Lighting Consultant 

    RAPP Technique du Bâtiment SA – MEP Consultant

    Shen Milsom & Wilke LLC – Audiovisual, IT and Security

    Oxalis Architectes Paysagises – Landscape Architect

    HAU - Handicap Architecture Urbanisme – Accessibility

    JPF Ducret – Wood Supplier

    SOTTAS SA – Facade Supplier

    INGENI – Local Structural Engineers 

Year Submitted

  • 2022

Key attributes

  • Planet