Marché International Support Office

Marché International operates autobahn restaurants in various countries of Europe. Ecology and simplicity are important elements of the concern’s corporate image. For its headquarters, therefore, a building was required that would impose as small a burden on the environment as possible, that would consume a minimum of energy and provide a qualitative, healthy working climate. This holistic understanding of sustainable construction found expression in a simple, unadorned architectural language.

The site for the new building is roughly 5 km to the south of Winterthur next to the Marché autobahn service area at Kemptthal. As a result, members of the staff have a direct relationship to the everyday workings of one of their own restaurants. The advantage of the location is counteracted by the considerable strains to which it is exposed in the form of autobahn and air-traffic noise. The Beat Kämpfen office was commissioned to design the scheme and from the very outset allotted aspects like sustainability, ecological balance and energy consumption equal importance alongside function, workplace quality and design. The building was completed in 2007, after a planning and construction period of only 12 months. It is a simple, cubic, timber structure with a flat-pitched roof.

Alone its location on a narrow site with no relationship to the surrounding roads indicates that urban links played a subordinate role here. The volume was set facing directly south for purely solar reasons. The elongated form shows that maximum compactness – i.e. minimizing the facade area to avoid thermal losses through heat transmission – is only one possible strategy in energy-conscious construction. The Marché International headquarters is the first office building in Switzerland with a zero-energy balance and was awarded the Minergie-P Eco certificate, the strictest standard in that country. In fact, the support office clearly exceeds this standard, but there is no legal basis for certification as a zero-energy building at present.

Architects: Beat Kämpfen, Office for Architecture, Zurich
Structural engineers (timber structure): AG für Holzbauplanung, Rothenthurm
Construction engineer:
Gerd Groier, Wetzikon
Energy engineers:
Naef Energietechnik, Zurich
Building physics and acoustics:
Amstein & Walthert AG, Zurich
Electrical engineers:
Enerpeak Engineering AG, Zurich
Sanitary planning:
Gerber Haustechnik, Schwerzenbach

Architects: Beat Kämpfen, Office for Architecture, Zurich;
Structural engineers (timber structure): AG für Holzbauplanung, Rothenthurm;
Construction engineer:
Gerd Groier, Wetzikon;
Energy engineers:
Naef Energietechnik, Zurich;
Building physics and acoustics:
Amstein & Walthert AG, Zurich;
Electrical engineers:
Enerpeak Engineering AG, Zurich;
Sanitary planning:
Gerber Haustechnik, Schwerzenbach;
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