Omega Museum and Conference Centre, Biel/Bienne BE

Right from the glassed-in entryway with its open staircase, the visitor knows that O2 is designed as a public building: The first and second floor house the Swatch and Omega brand museums. Their administration is on the third floor, a conference hall with foyer is located on the fourth. The façade, built from storey-high elements is divided vertically between the wood beams and covered with exterior sun protection.

The wood components were pre-fabricated and joined with the utmost precision. This was a huge challenge to all parties involved in terms of planning, construction, fabrication, and assembly. The domed ground floor is open and permeable. The concrete pillars and glass elements with their organic shape, some of them individual constructions, were produced with the aid of computer-assisted processes. The oval conference room fits into the top of the building like an egg, and is snugly protected by the extension of the Swatch building. This makes Hayek Strasse, which passes underneath, feel like a square.

Contact Sergio Gil-Lopez; Hoti Feim; Jan Stöcker; Christian Frischknecht
Client Swatch AG and Omega SA
Architects ShigeruBan Architects Eur.; Itten+Brechbühl SA
Planning 2013
Start of operation 2019
Floor area 5,596 m2
Construction volume 30,700 m3
Photos Philipp Zinniker, Bern