Roche Plans to Invest $3 Billion at Basel Site
Roche plans to invest CHF 3 billion ($3.16 billion) at its site in Basel, Switzerland for the construction of a new research and development center for around 1,900 employees, for an office building for up to 1,700 employees, for upgrading infrastructure, and for renovating an historic office building designed by Otto R. Salvisberg.
“Roche is committed long-term to Switzerland and to Basel in its dual role as corporate headquarters and one of our most important sites worldwide,” said Roche CEO Severin Schwan, in a company statement explaining the rationale behind the plans. “The entire value chain is represented in Basel. Employees from all parts of the company are making a vital contribution to Roche's innovative strength, and we want to provide them with an attractive work environment. The new buildings will continue Roche's tradition of elegant, distinctive and functional architecture.”
Roche said that many of the office and laboratory buildings on the site no longer meet present-day requirements for modern, sustainable workplaces and need to be renewed. Furthermore, even after staff move into Building 1 toward the end of 2015, some 3,000 of the around 9,000 employees who work in Basel will still be in rented properties spread around the city. Under the company’s site development plan, which was developed in collaboration with architects Herzog & de Meuron, a large part of the Basel workforce will be brought together in modern laboratories and offices on the main site, which over the years has grown around Grenzacherstrasse.
“The planned consolidation of the existing industrial site will eliminate the need to build over green zones”, said JÃ¼rg Erismann, head of the Basel/Kaiseraugst Site, in a company statement. “Instead, Roche will be making more efficient use of those parts of the site that have already been developed but cannot be expanded. Sustainability is a top priority for all our construction projects. For instance, assuming a comparable number of workplaces, the energy used in Building 1 will be only one fifth of the amount consumed in the 40-year-old Building 74, which is due to be replaced as part of the site development project.”
Roche said that planners gave importance to safeguarding the quality of neighboring residents' living conditions, ensuring for example, that buildings at the site perimeters will all be low-rise. High-rise structures, such as Building 1, which is currently under construction, are to be located in the inner areas of the Roche site on Grenzacherstrasse. Roche's modern mobility concept, which was developed to encourage the use of public transport and bicycles, will help to keep the number of private motor vehicles to a minimum.
The new research center will consist of four integrated office/laboratory buildings of different heights (132 m, 72 m, 28 m, and 16 m) on the site of present Building 74. Each of the buildings will be designed in consultation with the research and development organization to ensure that scientists’ needs are met. The time table to go into service is between 2021 and 2022. Tthe new buildings will contain 950 office and 950 laboratory workplaces. The idea behind the center is to facilitate communication and further strengthen teamwork among research staff. Scheduled for completion by end-2018, an in vivo research facility is being constructed on the site of Building 61 on Wettsteinallee. The projected investment volume for the research center, including the necessary infrastructure, is CHF 1.7 billion ($1.7 billion).
The new office building in the interior of the Roche site will be 205 m tall (approximately 50 stories) and provide space for up to 1,700 office workplaces. The building will serve to bring together at the Roche site as many as possible of the employees who are presently spread across the city of Basel. Building 2 is expected to be ready for occupation by 2021. The projected investment is CHF 550 million ($580 million).
A total of approximately CHF 700 million ($738 million) are being invested in upgrading existing buildings and in infrastructure, including a logistics center that will satisfy the latest standards for energy consumption, safety, good manufacturing practice (GMP) guidelines, and other requirements. The workshop, fire service, Medical Service, and local site organization will also be housed in the new buildings. The underground car park beneath Building 74 will be replaced by a car park of identical capacity, and 1,500 new underground bicycle parking stands will also be created.
Building 21, the office building that was designed by Otto R. Salvisberg and constructed in 1937, is to be completely renovated to bring it into line with modern energy-efficiency standards and building-infrastructure requirements. The renovation work, which is scheduled to begin in early 2016 and last around two years, will preserve the historically important building’s appearance. The projected investment is CHF 85 million ($90 million).