The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
Thursday 13 Jun 2013


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The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is an organization of the United Nations devoted to the protection of intellectual property. Over time, WIPO’s various departments had been disbursed throughout the city of Geneva. In 2000, the organization established a competition to create a new administrative building that would consolidate all of its operations into one, cohesive centre.

This new administrative building is located in Geneva’s international district, immediately adjacent to the European Headquarters of the UN, the Nation’s Plaza, and the existing WIPO Headquarters. In proximity to the renowned Geneva lakeshore, the view from this site extends past Lake Geneva all the way to the Alps offering a striking panorama.

Promoting communication and interaction was important objective for the new facility as a means by which to improve WIPO’s effectiveness. In a highly flexible layout, the building houses approximately 500 employees. All workspaces and other facilities are arranged around a sequence of three central atria, each designed to evoke a particular aesthetic and ambience. These glass-covered atria also ensure that sufficient daylight streams into the building’s interior and serve to establish an open and welcoming spirit. At the same time, the atria provide generous access to the various offices, to the restaurant at ground level, and to the library above the restaurant. In the third atrium, the floor has been finished as a “constructed landscape” composed of large glass tiles in green, yellow and violet hues. The new building also employs a variety of sustainable initiatives aimed at reducing its overall energy consumption.

The new building employs a variety of sustainable design principles to reduce its overall energy consumption. These include the use of Lake Geneva’s water for cooling; the use of thermally-activated concrete slabs at the building’s ground floor; the natural extraction of air via the stack-effect; and the optimization of natural light in all offices and ground level areas.  In addition, devices on the glass-roofs serve to redirect daylight, and highly insulated glass facades with daylight-optimized blinds naturally control heat and glare in the interior.