photos © Roger Frei, Zürich

& Leonardo Finotti, Brazil

Client: Frutiger AG, Thun
Emmi Management AG, Lucerne

Realization: 2012-2014
Floor area: 5'991 m2
Construction volume: 28'200 m3
Costs headquater: CHF 25 Mio

Realization: 2012 -2015
Floor area: 23'367 m2
Construction volume: 71'714 m3

Total costs: CHF 90 Mio

Project team
Justin Rüssli
Giuseppe Di Blatto
Regula Kammermann
Carol Egger
Mimi Kueh
Natalie Fedtke
Bejan Misaghi
Tanja Zumstein
Davide Pisaturo
Andreas Hamerich

Competition 2010 - 1. PRIZE




On the search for a new location for the future headquarters of the constantly growing milk processor Emmi, the choice fell to the premises of the former 'Butterzentrale' at the Landenbergstrasse in Lucerne, on the left shore of the lake. Emmi used the location as its production site for milk and dairy products for decades. The existing buildings have been removed and replaced by the new headquarters, in combination with additional residential use.

In a 2010 study contract for the redesigning of the site, the project 'Shades of Milk' by Rüssli Architekten AG prevailed over well-known Swiss architectural offices, and won the contract. With the sale of the project, Emmi transferred the execution to renowned company Frutiger AG, based in Thun. Emmi secured the site for its planned headquarters as the future tenant.


The new Emmi group headquarters, with 200 workstations, take the form of a stand-alone building facing a piazza. The outer appearance is dominated by the unique grid-like façade, which is positioned in front of the full-glass façade. The building, with its square base and four floors (measuring 3.5m clear height), coupled with the spiral, two-storey communication rooms, has a very open effect and is bathed in light.

With this building complex, an urban development shape and composition have arisen which enable both commercial and private use. The complex is harmoniously integrated into the district, and the buildings and their volumes are oriented towards the large-scale buildings in the immediate surroundings.

The new settlement draws on the site’s original, industrial past, which is still recognisable in the new buildings. The overall plant corresponds to a classic row arrangement. There is an elongated, 20-metre wide courtyard between the two residential buildings. This is enclosed to the south by the stand-alone Emmi headquarters. The architectural concept plays with elements from the title of the competition. The rows of buildings are kept in a basic shade of white, while individual façade elements bear natural shades of colour from milk products, such as 'cappuccino' or 'macchiato'.


83 commonhold apartments and more than 6,000 square metres of office and workshop space have been built in the project. The four buildings – Building A (residential & working), Building B (studios), Building C (residential) and Building D (Emmi headquarter) – form an open block edge. Building A forms the north-eastern border of the building complex, with a ground floor, four upper floors and two penthouse floors. With a height of up to 3.60m, the ground floor houses the workshop and office rooms.


This enables versatile usage, thanks to individual fittings. The open-plan living rooms on the upper and penthouse floors create a clear link between the lake and mountain panorama, with the private rooms facing the lake and Mount Pilatus. Thanks to the sophisticated, functional design, the building complex as an ensemble is extremely emotionally appealing, and is complemented by the very well-balanced, harmonious design of the outdoor space.