The media group Tamedia has unveiled its new seven story wooden headquarters in the heart of Zurich, said to be the tallest building of its kind in the world. Japanese star architect Shigeru Ban relied heavily on Swiss timber expertise.
The first thing you see when you enter the building, which is situated along the river Sihl, are the massive wooden columns - an imposing yet elegant presence. Further inside, there are columns placed closely together in a style evocative of Japanese temples.
Ban, who faced no competition to win the contract, had to fulfill three criteria set out by Tamedia chairman Pietro Supino: A pleasant working environment, durability and reasonable costs.
"I thought that wood would be perfect for this project," said Ban, who is famous for his cardboard structures and striving to minimize waste. He also underlined the important role played by Swiss timber construction engineer Hermann Blumer in the Zurich project.
Read the full interview with Shigeru Ban here.
(Copyright by Kuniko Satonobu/swissinfo.ch, content provided by swissinfo.ch swissinfo.ch, photographs copyright by Shigeru Ban, Reto Oeschger/Tamedia)