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Specific Generic And Spillmann Echsle Arkitekten Complete New HQ With Home-Like Interiors In Zürich

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Specific Generic and Spillmann Echsle Arkitekten have completed the new headquarters for the Swiss brand On, a performance running shoe company in Zürich, Switzerland

The project, named On Labs - New Global Headquarters for On running, features home-like interiors shaped around nature, technology and human spirit. 

The company commissioned both studios, Specific Generic and Spillmann Echsle Arkitekten, to expand their office space to accommodate their growing workforce.

Specific Generic and Spillmann Echsle Arkitekten complete new HQ with home-like interiors in Zürich

Image © Mikael Olsson

The brand wanted to create a functional, flexible and attractive work environment that communicates the brand's values. According to the studios, all design stages have been executed in close collaboration with the On in-house team.

Colorful furnitures, movable walls, dividers and pivoting book shelves are distributed in different parts of the space to create a home-like exprerience. 

Specific Generic and Spillmann Echsle Arkitekten complete new HQ with home-like interiors in Zürich

Image © Mikael Olsson

Covering a 15,000-square-metre space, the space is enreiched with elements that promote movement and interaction among employees are incorporated, such as a mountain trail-inspired path that runs through the 17 stories complex, height-adjustable tables in 95% of the meeting rooms, an in-house gym, and water stations to encourage hydration.

Specific Generic and Spillmann Echsle Arkitekten complete new HQ with home-like interiors in Zürich

Image © Eduardo Perez

The architects divided into the space into zones to provide a sense of community and social context. Each zone has three floors with different functions and employees can move between focus, social or collaborative areas.

"The functions are laid out as experiences along the mountain trail going up the building. The steps are getting narrower and steeper for each floor going up, just like climbing a mountain," said Specific Generic. 

Specific Generic and Spillmann Echsle Arkitekten complete new HQ with home-like interiors in Zürich

Image © Mikael Olsson

While the bottom floors are characterised by earthy tones and heavy shapes, the upper floors focus on some specific themes such as forests, lakes, clouds and thin air at the border to space. 

Besides workplaces, the project also includes a conferencing area, bar, canteen, lab, workshops, studios, rooftop garden, library and an exhibition space.

The team has added movable walls throughout the offices to provide flexible and fluid spaces where everything can happen. 

Specific Generic and Spillmann Echsle Arkitekten complete new HQ with home-like interiors in Zürich

Image © Mikael Olsson

For example, the architects added the pivoting book shelves in the library where these shelves also act as room dividers, creating a soft meeting room where people also can learn more about the company and the interests of those who work there. 

At the design department the design team used generous double ceiling height that is utilized by constructing micro architecture pieces within the space. 

Specific Generic and Spillmann Echsle Arkitekten complete new HQ with home-like interiors in Zürich

Image © Mikael Olsson

"This area where new ideas are born is secluded from the rest of the office using diffused colored glass; this is a limited access zone," said the studio.

The team used raw materials as much as possible needed little human intervention as possible. Concrete, oakwood, stainless steel and rocks are the main materials used within the office space.

Oakwood is used throughout the building, including a big table made from a slice of a tree. 

Specific Generic and Spillmann Echsle Arkitekten complete new HQ with home-like interiors in Zürich

Image © Mikael Olsson

"The exhibition space that showcases the very first prototype of the On shoe features a traditional Japanese method of burning the surface of the wood to make it black with a beautiful luster of the charcoal," the firm added.

"A stone garden with rocks collected from the surrounding alps offers both a meeting space and an inspirational moment. A pine tree is foraged and hung in the opening between two floors in the forest neighbourhood."

Specific Generic and Spillmann Echsle Arkitekten complete new HQ with home-like interiors in Zürich

Image © Mikael Olsson

In the bar the team adds a three dimensional tracking of a mountain run, which is manifested as a neon tube installation hovering from the ceiling.

The architects translate the topographic maps of the surrounding mountains into a custom pattern for carpets and upholstered furniture in the conference area. 

Specific Generic and Spillmann Echsle Arkitekten complete new HQ with home-like interiors in Zürich

Image © Eduardo Perez

Next to the canteen is a glass block greenhouse filled with plants to serve lunch meetings. The food served within On labs is plant based and the roof top garden offers plenty of herbs, berries and fruits.

With basis in the heritage of the brand and as a result of the collaboration with Specific Generic, the furnishing pieces were carefully selected from Switzerland and Scandinavia.

Specific Generic and Spillmann Echsle Arkitekten complete new HQ with home-like interiors in Zürich

Image © Eduardo Perez

Specific Generic and Spillmann Echsle Arkitekten complete new HQ with home-like interiors in Zürich

Image © Eduardo Perez

Specific Generic and Spillmann Echsle Arkitekten complete new HQ with home-like interiors in Zürich

Image © Eduardo Perez

Specific Generic and Spillmann Echsle Arkitekten complete new HQ with home-like interiors in Zürich

Image © Eduardo Perez

Specific Generic and Spillmann Echsle Arkitekten complete new HQ with home-like interiors in Zürich

Image © Eduardo Perez

Specific Generic and Spillmann Echsle Arkitekten complete new HQ with home-like interiors in Zürich

Image © Eduardo Perez

Specific Generic and Spillmann Echsle Arkitekten complete new HQ with home-like interiors in Zürich

Image © Eduardo Perez

Specific Generic and Spillmann Echsle Arkitekten complete new HQ with home-like interiors in Zürich

Image © Mikael Olsson

Specific Generic and Spillmann Echsle Arkitekten complete new HQ with home-like interiors in Zürich

Image © Mikael Olsson

Specific Generic and Spillmann Echsle Arkitekten complete new HQ with home-like interiors in Zürich

Image © Mikael Olsson

Specific Generic and Spillmann Echsle Arkitekten complete new HQ with home-like interiors in Zürich

Image © Eduardo Perez

Specific Generic and Spillmann Echsle Arkitekten complete new HQ with home-like interiors in Zürich

Image © Eduardo Perez

Specific Generic is a design office with a focus on creative direction for people, institutions and brands. The office is composed of thinkers and makers using specific creativity to inspire generic change.

Spillmann Echsle Architekten Ag was founded in 2002 by Annette Spillmann and Harald Echsle. The office has a team of 30 people and is known for projects such as the Freitag tower in Zürich, office interiors for companies Google and On Running, the House of Switzerland pavilion of 2014, and public-use buildings such as Tonhalle Maag and Halle 550 in Zürich.

Project facts

Project name: On Labs - New Global Headquarters for On running

Architects: Specific Generic, Spillmann Echsle Architekten 

Location: Zürich, Swtizerland

Size: 15,000m2

Date: 2023 

Top image © Mikael Olsson. 

All images © Mikael Olsson and Eduardo Perez.

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