Office Buildings, High-rise Buildings

Roche Building 2, Basel


F. Hoffmann La Roche AG


Basel, Switzerland


Herzog & de Meuron, Basel

Project duration

2014 – 2022

Total costs

Approx. CHF 550 million

Gross total area

85‘460 m2


approx. 2‘300

General planner

Drees & Sommer Switzerland

Slim build. Visible from afar. At 205 proud metres, the Roche high-rise Building 2 stretches into the sky above Basel. In 2020, it replaced Building 1 as the tallest building in Switzerland at 178 metres.

With the new office building at its headquarters in Basel, F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd is creating space for around 3,500 employees. For Building 2, architects Herzog & de Meuron have chosen an urban design that is based on the company's historically evolved formal language while also allowing the building to develop from the inside out. As part of a general planning mandate, Drees & Sommer's requirement planners developed a coherent, innovative utilisation concept together with the future users. The focus was on requirements such as flexibility, functionality and quality of the working environment.

The project team was able to successfully utilise the experience gained from the previous Roche project, Building 1, for Building 2. The brief was to adopt concepts from Building 1 and to design all areas as efficiently and flexibly as possible. In addition to overall coordination and project management, Drees & Sommer is providing general planning services for HVAC planning, façade planning, energy and sustainability management, building physics and construction logistics planning. The project team is also responsible for BIM coordination, planning concepts for office and space utilisation as well as the flow of people and goods, and managing facility management during the planning phase.

In contrast to Building 1, which was handled as a 3D planning project, Building 2 is being developed as a BIM project. A so-called "digital twin", a virtual three-dimensional image of the planned building, is being realised. This not only shows the geometry of the future building, but also provides information on the materials used at the click of a mouse. The BIM model helps the planners to communicate better, coordinate all the requirements of the individual trades and thus avoid errors. Drees & Sommer manages the entire BIM coordination, including the creation of the overall as-built model.

The 50-storey office tower is also impressive in terms of sustainability: thanks to a 50 per cent proportion of glass, solar shading integrated into a double-skin closed-cavity façade and good thermal insulation, energy requirements are reduced. Waste heat from the site is also utilised for heating and groundwater is used for cooling and heat recovery for the ventilation system. Furthermore, needs-based control of the air conditioning and lighting systems and precise energy monitoring ensure optimum building operation.

Particular attention was paid to the choice of materials and the minimisation of indoor air pollutants. The aim is to avoid materials and substances that harbour potential risks for people and nature. The ingredients and emissions of around 900 building products are tested prior to construction. The creation of healthy indoor living spaces is a top priority at Bau 2.

Using lean construction management (LCM) methods, the project is on time and on budget with outstanding quality. By improving communication and processes, an efficient and stable construction process is guaranteed. Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the shell of the building was completed six weeks earlier than planned in December 2020. The building is scheduled to be occupied in mid-2022 after a phase of user-specific adaptations.

Added value

  • The project plays a pioneering role in BIM implementation (Digital Twin) and process digitalisation.

Individual services

  • General planning
  • Planning coordination architecture/construction
  • Facade technology
  • Building physics
  • TGA coordination
  • HVAC planning
  • Energy design
  • Building logistics planning
  • User management
  • Cost and schedule management
  • Document control
  • BIM coordination
  • Preparation of tenders and support with contract awards
  • Project support for sustainability
© F. Hoffmann La Roche AG
© F. Hoffmann La Roche AG