Monday, March 12, 2007

Swiss Re Office Building, Unterföhring, Germany

Designed by the Hamburg firm, BRT (Bothe Richter Teherani) Architekten, the Swiss Re office building opened in 2001 after a construction period of two and a half years. Its 54,000 square meters allowed Swiss Re, an insurance company based in Zurich, to consolidate its three Munich offices into one building in a business park in Unterföhring, just north of the city.

One of the most striking elements of this design is massive facade of hanging vines that surrounds the whole complex. While the vines were leafless during our visit in March, during the late spring and summer the facade should be be green, and as the vines grow fully throughout the screen, the appearance of the building will change over time. Perhaps even more interesting is the carefully designed and manicured landscape contained within the facility. A number of unusual materials, such as broken colored bottle glass, chrome spheres, red-painted logs, and glass cubes were used to create a variety of evocative outdoor spaces.

Clinton Riddle

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