When the US-based bike manufacturer SCOTT expanded into Europe at the beginning of the 1990s, it found a suitable home in the west of Switzerland. It has retained its allegiance to the quiet little municipality of Givisiez near Fribourg right up to the present day. Recently, however, the employees – by that time spread around five different locations – have been brought together in an impressive new building.
The headquarters, designed by the architects Itten+Brechbühl, has room for 600 employees and strengthens the globally successful brand through its convincing architectural language. As a modern design element, glass plays an important role in this. The glass installed in the façade, interiors and roof lights came from the Swiss specialists Glas Trösch.
Viewed from the outside, the compact building with its rectangular footprint is particularly striking thanks to its three-dimensional façade and movable sun protection sails. Made of microperforated aluminium, the elements adjust automatically to the position of the sun, protecting the people indoors from glare and heat. According to SCOTT Sports, the building is the first in Europe to operate with a single system for simultaneous control of heating, ventilation and acoustics. Energy is supplied via solar cells and geothermal heat. In order to satisfy the highest energy-saving standards for the glass façade as well, the architects opted in favour of SILVERSTAR EN2plus triple insulating glass made by Glas Trösch.
The ceiling-high panes provide maximum transparency as well as efficient utilisation of daylight with no irritating light reflection from the outside or inside. In addition, they ensure a pleasant indoor climate all year round: due to the low thermal transmission coefficient (U-value for short) of 0.6 W/m2K and a total solar energy transmittance (g-value for short) of just 51 percent, both optimum thermal insulation in the winter months and protection from overheating in the summer are assured. The triple glazing employed here makes a significant contribution to reducing energy consumption and cutting CO2 emissions thanks to the high-quality thermal barrier coating.
Roof lights bring daylight into the stairwell
Access to the new corporate headquarters is from the south side via a glazed ground floor with a wave-like overhang of the aluminium façade. Inside, a spacious atrium opens up, extending to the full height of the building, suffused with daylight thanks to a transparent roof. Vertical wooden slats on the interior façade of the open space create a fascinating interplay of light and shade. The atrium leads directly to the staff restaurant, the cafeteria and the SCOTT Bikes showroom. The office areas on the upper floors are also accessed from here, via stairs or lift. Horizontal glazing supplied by Glas Trösch provides natural light to the stairwells with their plain, fair-faced concrete finish. The composite glazing system, executed here as triple insulating glass with SILVERSTAR Selekt 74/42 coating and laminated safety glass, emphasizes the aesthetically sophisticated architecture thanks to its excellent colour neutrality.
Glass partition walls to divide office and conference rooms
Glass also plays an important role in the open-plan office environment. Partition walls from the SWISSDIVIDE ONE product line subdivide the areas here so that a focused working atmosphere is not created at the expense of transparency and light transmission. Slender profiles, a high degree of sound insulation and electronic access solutions for the different users were among the stringent requirements formulated by the planners. And whereas the desk workstations face the outer façade, the majority of the 50 or so meeting rooms are oriented towards the atrium. Here, full-height windows allow exceptional views, whether looking out or looking in. Moreover, these views are not obscured by the use of FIRESWISS FOAM 30-19 fire-resistant glass that is up to three metres wide, because the butt joint design minimises the impact on visibility.
All in all, the new SCOTT Sports headquarters is thus a successful example of how very different glass solutions satisfy the most challenging technical demands in a modern building, supporting the architectural language with aesthetic solutions at the same time. Moreover, the functional requirements of the building have been met. Thanks to the large-scale glass elements both outside and inside, a great deal of daylight reaches all rooms with a beneficial effect on well-being – and definitely on employee performance as well.
You can find out more about the SCOTT Sports headquarters reference site in the interactive film at www.glastroesch.com
Project: SCOTT Sports headquarters
Location: Givisiez, Switzerland
Architect: Itten+Brechbühl AG
Insulating glass manufacturer: Glas Trösch SA, Bulle
Products: SILVERSTAR EN2plus – SILVERSTAR Selekt 74/42 and laminated safety glass – SWISSDIVIDE ONE – FIRESWISS FOAM 30-19