Last Friday saw the opening of Switzerland’s tallest building. The 41 level, 178 metre high tower is the first of two to grace the skyline of Basel. Building 1, as it is quite logically named, was designed by the Swiss architectural firm Herzog & de Meuron for the pharmaceutical giant Roche. It is 52 metres taller than former record holder, the prime tower in Zurich, which rises to 126 metres.
Around 2,000 employees of Roche’s over 85,000 employees worldwide will get to work in the building’s 74,200 square metres of floor space. This is over 20% of Roche’s current Basel-based workforce. Roche founded in Basel in 1896 by Fritz Hoffmann-La Roche became well known when it began producing and selling synthetic vitamin C in 1934.
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The video below is a virtual tour of the building published by Roche on YouTube.
The new tower block is said to have cost around CHF 550 million to construct. An even larger tower of 205 metres, called Building 2, is planned for completion by 2021. The whole project including the two towers are together expected to cost CHF 3 billion.
Roche’s Building 1 is a minnow compared the current world leader the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, which stands 828 metres high. London’s tallest is the Shard. Completed in 2012 it rises to 310 metres up. The tallest building in Europe is the 95 story Vostok tower in Moscow at 374 metres high.