code nexus
project hearquarters for energy group e, fribourg ch
type competition
size 11’000 m2
budget 30 Mio CHF
client groupe E fribourg  
collaborators thomas schumann
location fribourg ch
year 2006
status completed



The site for the new office headquarter building lies at the edge of the city at the junction in between the motorway and Fribourgs main access road. It is a typical situation lacking identity and heavily polluted by the traffic of the periphery. As a reaction to this direct neighbourhood, the project takes a radical position and refers itself to a larger topographical context: to the softness of the landscape, the sinuous lines of the Sarine and of the motorway.

From distance, the project appears as an elegant and abstract sculpture. At its progressive approach, the continuous horizontal bands suggest the project floors. The imbrications of these bands generate balconies and act as acoustic shields. The flowing organic shape produces a dynamic and changing perception from the outside: a building without ends… The closed circuits of different energy states stand as a paradigm for the continuous façade bands.

The large iconographic sculpture unifies characteristics of courtyard and linear building typologies: the deepest plan areas are structured and supplied with light through the courtyards. Contrastingly to its complex appearance, the buildings inside is simple and flexible: concrete slabs are supported by a regular grid of columns and 5 circulation cores. 

The open space plans of the upper floors are connected via the courtyards and cores. Additionally, the courtyards are linked on each floor through a meandering multifunctional zone. These zones contain all public office facilities and operative supporting structures.

Public programs inhabit the ground floor: the main entrance in connectivity with the exhibition area at the one end, restaurant and cafeteria at the other end. They are connected via an open multifunctional space, which also serves as a lobby to the adjacent conference rooms.

street view
ground floor and typical upper floor
band concept
fassade principle