BONHÔTE ZAPATA architectes: Grand Conseil - best architects 23

BONHÔTE ZAPATA architectes

Grand Conseil

best architects 23

renovation and addition


Geneva, Switzerland


Ariel Huber


The transformation of the parliament chamber and the Hôtel de Ville, a historic building of national importance, was initiated in order to reorganise the parliamentary rooms, make them accessible to people with reduced mobility and renew the technical equipment. The project ultimately led to rethinking the internal relationships and coherence of a significant part of the building. The parliament chamber itself is conceived as a jewel box inserted like new architecture into the old, occupying the entire volume of the building’s south wing. It is topped by a dome providing light and reaching the top of the roof, opening onto a zenith window. The desks (benches) have been changed from a face to face organisation (UK-style) to a hemicycle facing the city, which is now visible thanks to the replacement of the old stained and opaque glass windows by new transparent ones. The use of solid wood and green marble is enhanced by a combination of generous natural and artificial light. The ceiling of the main parliament chamber is treated like a lamp providing light through a shading of solid oak slats. The cabinetry work, the presidential podium and the desks, also in oak, complete and unify the ensemble, whose atmosphere is simultaneously solemn in its dimensions and comfortable in its materiality.