Croix – Pechino

The building stands on a generous plot with magnificent trees. The existing villa, dating from the 1960s, was sturdy and well laid-out, its horizontal design divided into regular structural units and opening onto the park. The project therefore involved converting a private garden into a workplace fulfilling a representative function, one that would host the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs mission, with its diplomatic sections. The new building needed to fulfil the following four objectives: to ensure that the embassy could function effectively in its new setting; to respect the urban-natural landscape site and the existing villa; to take the specific local climate conditions of China into account; and, finally, to embody Swiss values. The new building shapes a courtyard, creating a new public façade on the south side of the site. This space is a shaded park area and contributes in mitigating the climate of the site. The elongated reception hall has counters dedicated to handling visa applications, enquiries from Swiss citizens and other consular matters. The space opens on the building entrance and the greenery around the bricks existing wall. The new public façade is intended to reflect Switzerland’s strength and diversity – the strength of a country that enjoys tremendous political and economic stability. The pillars convey a sense of discipline and suggest security. Their slightly angled forms, with edges tilted towards the visitor express an element of movement within the system, a welcoming generosity which accommodates diversity. The vertical lines are offset by the slanting surfaces. The black bricks of the construction echo Chinese magnificent historical architectural heritage, built during the 1960s and 1970s, and harmonises with the original villa. The strength of bricks walls is a quality of this design which seeks to celebrate and re-establish the local Chinese context. As well as paying homage to the majestic buildings of the recent past, the use of this material is also adapted to local traditional resources reducing the quantity of technological materials.

Year: 2018
Location: Pechino, China

Extension Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Pechino

Project: Klingenberg Arkitektur

Archtect: Bjorn Klingenberg

Team: Andrea Intini – Deborah Marucci – Nicolò Sannino – Paolo Tutone 

Collaboration: Figueiredo Pellegrini Paesaggisti

Client: Ministry of Foreign Affairs Bern

Render: Klingenberg Services

Type: Public competition

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