Wüest & Partner Office - “Wissensbörse”
Thursday 13 Feb 2014


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OOS has designed a new 2,500m2 office environment for the firm "Wüest & Partner" on the premises of the Alte Börse near Paradeplatz in Zurich. Since Autumn 2013, around 100 property experts have been working across the three storeys of an office environment that has been custom-made to meet their needs.

To achieve an adequate spatial concept, Wüest & Partner organised a two-stage competition (study contract) and invited 8 architecture teams to hand in their design proposals for their new office space. OOS won with the concept "Wissensbörse" (en. Knowledge Exchange). A tailor-made working environment for Switzerland's leading property consultancy has since then been created in the historic premises of the "Alte Börse" (en. old stock exchange) near Paradeplatz, where stocks were once traded before it became a nightclub.

The new office environment offers a flexible layout with 138 permanent and 21 temporary work-places that satisfy all of the requirements for a contemporary workspace. Along with an elegant customer zone, the concept also provides space for specific ways of working and facilitates communication flow and knowledge transfer within the company.

The two main staircases, as well as the two internal spiral staircases, connect the three storeys and bring the departments closer together. The main areas are subdivided into three circular zones ('development', 'gathering & sharing' and 'exchanging') arranged around a big hall, similarly to a square. Along the facade, employees are working in generous proportioned rooms on personal workstations. No offices have been earmarked for managers. There are no single offices planned, all employees including managers are sitting on long working desks. The central 'gathering and sharing' zone, which extends over the three storeys like a furniture piece, has high tables for shorter, standing discussions, as well as rooms for specific focus to work in small groups.

Three themed rooms, also known as 'Quantile Rooms' are available for group work and create a link with the different housing and rental conditions on the market, which Wüest & Partner observes and analyses. At the heart of the office environment is a central, two storey hall with skylight that encourages employees to linger and talk with colleagues. To create an open atmosphere, the architects chose a 19 x 11m translucent paper structure in the hall that encompasses the room from above and intensifies the notion of space.

Pure, authentic materials emphasise the overall mood. The materials used throughout all of the zones are raw and unadulterated. Carefully selected materials, such as untreated Sasmoplan boards or the raw steel balustrade represent clarity and precision, essential features that are reflected in the core business and positioning of the company. Special attention has been paid to good acoustics and specific light conditions. Along with optimal lighting of the workplaces, certain zones have been intentionally staged and accentuated to make it possible to change the hall into different colour moods.