The Red Building and the Green Machine: Chancellery of Switzerland in Singapore

  • Year: 2019
  • Location: Singapore
  • Program: Working
  • Floor Area: 1950m2
  • Status: Competition
  • In collaboration with Veruska Vasconez


    The expansion of the Embassy of Switzerland establishes the diplomatic relationship and the supra-national significance of Singapore and should lead a long-term tradition of bilateral exchange into the future. The expansion is planned as an addition of stories to the building. As such, the context and the corresponding environmental interference are minimally affected, while the reinforcement of the existing building is maximally improved. The garden and the valuable trees are protected. The existing architectural language will be enhanced, and the character of a candid and convincing building will be emphasized. The new building will be extended around a new main body, which naturally seems to hover over the existing building. Between the new and the existing structures, the greenhouse, which stands for innovation and sustainability, will be introduced as median layer. The interpolated mezzanine is visually drawn back, whereas the structure of the upper floor displays an accentuated exteriorized design. The upper floor assimilates the structure of the existing building, supporting itself on it. The new main body protects and casts a shadow over the greenhouse below. The concept is clearly legible and comprehensible, representing transparency and candor.

    Air pollution and smog are a severe problem in Singapore. Singapore is committed to the urbanistic purpose of connecting the natural, tropical environment with the tree population, for which reason the cityscape is dominated by street trees, greenspaces, parks and fa├žade greenery. The blueprints for the swiss chancellery aim to reflect this actual climate change policy and achieve a technical, architectural and innovative building. The greenhouse is the lungs of the building, stretching between the new and old sections of the structure, and ensures a natural air purification process through interior greenery. The air will be filtered through the greenhouse, which virtually serves as an oxygen reserve, and the plants spread the purified oxygen with greatly reduced levels of carbon dioxide through the ventilation systems in each area of the house. The severely polluted air will naturally be cleansed.