Our spaces, Roche guide of the built environment

Buildings Key Features


Ahead of time

Adaptable to future change

  • Plan for future needs, phases, and extensions.
  • Layout the structure for an optimal bay width, core position, and floor plan size and proportion to allow flexibility of use.
  • Design modular, standardized structure in provision for further extension.

Sustainable technology

  • Take design opportunities to promote and communicate sustainable awareness, considering local specificity.
  • Facilitate low-energy solutions for cooling, heating, lighting, etc. in compliance with Roche sustainability directives K6 – K18.
  • Choose non-toxic products and materials with a low environmental impact.


Fit to purpose

Designed from the inside out

  • Function drives form and structure.
  • Clear, rational and simple spatial organization and structure for flexibility of use.
  • The building’s expression must be consistent with functional typology.

The expression of function

  • Form relates to the content and interior organization, reflecting the building’s function.
  • Use rectilinear forms, as they are easily referenced by the human eye.
  • Roche buildings must have a timeless elegant appearance.

Easy maintenance

  • Select durable, resistant, easy-to-clean materials and design solutions.
  • Plan low maintenance systems and easy accessible HVAC and MEP installations.
  • Practice a low water use green concept.
  • Define a Life Cycle strategy based on the Dia Life Cycle Asset Management (LCAM) process.
  • Follow the building operation manual. Use the building management system to monitor, analyze and reset for optimum efficiency in operation.


Form at human scale

Human scale

  • Define spaces according to human measurements.
  • Elements should be scaled to human physical capabilities.
  • Avoid monumental scale, oversized spaces, and extremely large distances.

Pure volumes

  • Design timeless, primary volumes that can be clearly read and respond to their function.
  • Any infrastructure or connecting elements should be visually differentiated from the main volume.

Find the essential

  • Employ a consistent, harmonious and elegant formal language, beyond stylistic.
  • Focus on a reduced expression, without superfluous ornament.
  • Present a timeless, clear geometry and simple appearance.
  • Use reduced number of different materials, preferring the natural and authentic.

The third dimension

  • Visible and inviting vertical connections contribute to the awareness of space.
  • Consider an atrium to provide light and generosity of space.
  • Cross views guide users throughout the building.

The right proportion

  • Maximize the height for a generous space feeling.
  • Choose ceiling types according to a concept defined by space functional typologies.
  • Use modular, rational criteria for the rhythm of lighting and installations, according to the building’s structure.


The atmosphere of space

Building character

  • Define building character by consistent use of key building elements. 
  • Materials and construction techniques articulate buildings to form a distinctive identity.

Emblematic stairs

  • Encourage the use of stairs by placing them visibly in places of social interaction.
  • Reflect on body movement to create a spatial experience through emblematic stairs.

Attention to detail

  • Thoughtful construction detailing, elegant and simple.
  • Plain functional solutions, never over articulated or ornamented.
  • Consistent attention is given to the entrance areas, staircases, roof trims, handrails, fenestration, and sun shading elements.

Working with light

  • Consider the relationship between window area and depth of space to achieve right levels of natural light.
  • Natural light is essential for all permanent workplaces, provide shading and glare control for user comfort.
  • Provide visual connections to the exterior.
  • Achieve a balanced combination of natural and artificial light.

Transparency and openness

  • Transparency in the ground floor provides visual and functional connection with the exterior outdoor space.
  • Openness results from clear structural planning.
  • Limit the amount of glazing according to climate conditions and follow the K-18 directive.

Neutral colour

  • Roche buildings convey luminosity and a purity associated with healthcare.
  • White and light colours are preferred for buildings.
  • Accent colours shall be used mostly on non-permanent finishes
  • Roche blue is only used for the logo, not for building elements, graphics or decorative elements.


Adapted to the local environment

Contributing to a sense of place

  • Reflect the site structure and design guidelines by the Master Plan.
  • Interpret and contribute to the unique cultural aspirations of the site.
  • Follow the site framework and organizational structure.

Responding to climate

  • Analyze the environment and climatic factors of the region to adapt to it.
  • The massing, typology and performance of the building envelope should be adapted to the local climate and sun exposure.
  • Comply with K-18 directive for thermal performance guidance.

Natural materials

  • Work with natural, raw materials in their original colour and finish, tactile appearance.
  • Use authentic, durable, quality materials, selected according to functional and structural requirements.
  • Prefer locally sourced, sustainable materials.
  • Avoid the use of materials that try to imitate others, stay true.


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