Client: Médecins sans frontières, Geneva

Floor area: 10'000 m2
Investment: CHF 45 Mio
Realization: 2018
Study work: 1. Price - 2017

Project team:
Justin Rüssli
Peter Vycpálek
Gabriel Assin
Christopher Horn
Andreas Hamerich

in cooperation with Steven Holl, USA

Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières) has selected Steven Holl Architects in collaboration with Rüssli Architekten as the winners of an international competition for the design of their new Geneva Operational Center, beating out proposals from Pool Architekten & Mak Architecture, Sauerbruch Hutton, Emilio Tuñon Arquitectos & Ruckstuhl Architekten, Blue Architects, and Consortium Sou Foujimoto with The New Talent Workshop.




Nicknamed Colors of Humanity, the project has been designed to foster interaction, with crisscrossing circulation paths lined with seating alcoves encouraging community conversation and small-group collaboration. These alcoves, along with other small-scale social gathering spaces, are finished in sinuous curved forms, giving o! a sense of embrace.

The building’s signature facade features photovoltaic glass in varying degrees of permeability to reflect di!erent types of interior spaces and to provide energy, shade and vibrant color. The curtain wall will utilize 40% transparent solar cells that can be produced in a range of colors, sitting within a flexible framework that allows for fully operational windows. The system has also been designed with maximum open-endedness to allow for seamless future expansion.