Administrative Centre on Oberer Graben / St.Gallen
best architects 16
St.Gallen / Switzerland
The urban development on Oberer Graben alternates between closed perimeter blocks and free-standing buildings that stand out from the rest. The new Administrative Centre inserts itself into this urban fabric and the conventional closed street front, but the ensemble at the same time rises above the spatial constraints of its context to develop a distinctive geometry and physicality befitting its importance as a public office. The articulation of the façade allows for a mix of in-situ and precast concrete. Limestone aggregates were added and the surfaces bush-hammered to echo the natural stone of the older buildings, blending the new structure into its surroundings. Two existing adjacent staircases were demolished and replaced by a generous main staircase illuminated from above. This enabled three of the four buildings to be brought onto a continuous level while implementing an office floor plan that affords a high degree of flexibility.