The new headquarters for JTI (Japan Tobacco International) in Switzerland is located in a Geneva district home to prestigious international organizations. Inspired by these neighbors, the JTI International Headquarters demonstrates SOM’s commitment to sustainability, structural expression and innovative workplace design. The building has already been the recipient of a number of design awards and has been recognized for its positive impact in the area where it is believed that the aspirational design will be a catalyst for future development. The project includes 206,118.12 sq. ft. of office space, 12,378.5 sq. ft. for restaurants, a café and a fitness center, 97,682.49 sq. ft. of open space and landscaping, and a 12,507.66 sq. ft. daycare and nursery.
Devised around a public courtyard, the opposing corners of the building’s form are elevated, creating the central courtyard and a permeable pedestrian route through the site with access to a local transport hub. The new public space opens up to the local neighborhood and facilitates direct pedestrian connections with local parks and acts as one of the buildings key entry points for employees and visitors. A ‘continuous landscape’ loops throughout the building, from the lobby to the top floor, connecting offices, meeting rooms, a business center, and auditorium with the social spaces. SOM’s integrated architectural and structural design which proposed a peripheral ‘torsion tube’ system that corresponds directly with the buildings form, achieves column free space for a more flexible, open plan workplace. The 1,000+ employees also have access to a number of communal areas, including a panoramic restaurant, cafeteria, roof terraces, courtyard, and informal meeting points with coffee facilities to encourage social interaction between staff.
In order to be in compliance with the local standards to exceed the Swiss national efficiency standards by 20%, JTI International Headquarters incorporates a host of sustainability features such as a green roof, fresh air intake vents, low carbon heating and cooling, and a self-shading ‘quilted’ panel façade which provides insulation and allows unique views to the surroundings. JTI International Headquarters is a Minergie registered building, a Swiss certification for low-energy-consumption.