“Almost reaching an ancient Roman scale, we’ve created an exaggeration of industrial production with a certain tension; a tension that gives a strong presence to the architecturally distinct elements that define the interior, bridging the substantial gap between a commercial ambiance and classical grandeur. To celebrate the experience of chocolate in many ways, we’ve scripted the Lindt Home of Chocolate’s interior as a space that orchestrates the movement of people,” state the architects.
Designed by Christ & Gantenbein Architects with interiors by Atelier Brückner, the new headquarters of Lindt & Sprüngli features a factory, warehouses, an office building, and the Lindt Home of Chocolate.
This highly technical and complex hybrid combines industrial production, museum, shopping, and cutting-edge research in a space where contemplation, entertainment, and interaction come together in a new spatial experience.
Its user-focused, mixed-use program results in a new type of civic architecture built to seduce visitors with the many charms of chocolate: an exhibition, an R&D facility, a production plant, a shop, a cafe, and offices are all connected by spiraling staircases and cascading walkways crisscrossing a vast atrium.
The classically composed, industrial box, paralleling the site’s logic, history, and urban structure, is in dialogue with its surroundings.
Its facade, consisting primarily of red brick, references its neighbors in an abstract reinterpretation based on a readymade industrial product manually grafted into a specific construction element.
The south-eastern corner is cut out and interrupts the otherwise simple volume. Clad with white, glazed brick, this quadrant opens a public square right at the building’s entrance.
A vast atrium, 64 meters long, 15 meters high, and 13m wide, reveals both a dramatic void and the architectural order’s elementary presence.
A series of load-bearing pillars and walls create a robust structure around which all activities are organized.
Stairs, elevators, walkways, and bridges produce spatial and experiential connectivity and communication at the project’s core, radically contrasting its almost calm exterior.
It is an intelligently engineered building of multifaceted complexity, a solid architectural form built to last, yet at the same time, built to withstand fluctuations through flexibility, where resilience and robustness collaborate towards a multiplicity of potentially shifting applications.
Its structural system is a hybrid, where aesthetics, functionality, and construction come together in a column-free volume with a load-bearing outer shell.
Project: Lindt Home of Chocolate
Architects: Christ & Gantenbein Architects
Design Team: Emanuel Christ, Christoph Gantenbein, Mona Farag; Anna Flückiger, Astrid Kühn, Tabea Lachenmann; Javier Bressel, Ana Sofia Costa Guerra, Szabolcs Egyed, Florian Kaiser, Kyrill Keller, Daan Koch, Andrew Mackintosh, Stephanie Müller, Catia Polido, Eileen Davis, Robert Schiemann, Anne Katharina Schulze, Guido Tesio, Leandro Villalba, Jean Wagner, Leonie Welling, and Christina Wendler
Interior Architects: Atelier Brückner GmbH
Planning: Priora, Eiffage Suisse, Conzett Bronzini Partner, Enea, ahochn, Feroplan Engineering, Keller Ziegeleien, BAKUS Bauphysik & Akustik, and Ernst Basler + Partner
Client: Lindt Chocolate Competence Foundation
Photographers: Walter Mair, Stefano Graziani, Raphael Alu, and Michael Reiner