The Berlin firm Sauerbruch Hutton —Julia Knaak (project management)— was commissioned to build new headquarters for the international humanitarian medical organization MSF in the Morillon district of Geneva, Switzerland. Specialized teams from the fields of medicine, law, technology, communications, and administration supervise task forces providing relief where needed. Once an emergency has been taken care of, the teams disband and regroup in subsequent missions. With a built area of 14,260 square meters, the architecture of the new HQ addresses this modus operandi through a transparent spatial structure conducive to communication and interaction among workmates. Between individual and group offices are large conference rooms and communal facilities for informal socializing. Views of Lake Geneva and Mont Blanc can be enjoyed from the terraces and roof.
The facades show wood, plants, solar protectors, and triple glazing. Photovoltaic panels are installed on the roof and the building is connected to the ecological GeniLac heating and cooling grid. This infrastructure uses water from the lake and 100%-renewable electricity. So the building functions exclusively on renewable energy resources.