Find the essential

Find the essential

Timeless elegance means reduced expression, clear geometry, and genuine materials.

An interesting plainness is the most difficult and precious thing to achieve. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe - Architect

What is the essential?

Reason is made visible when elements are consistent in their formal language. There is simplicity, clarity, and order in the space.

Roche Basel, Switzerland

Timeless materials and geometry

A simple and elegant aesthetic can be achieved by using well-defined, well-proportioned forms with clean lines in response to functional organization. The difference between an ordinary box and an elegant box lies in the mastering of composition and proportion, selection of materials, and detailing.


Reflect Roche core values of integrity and honesty by showing the structure’s materiality and by choosing genuine materials that are pleasant to the touch, convey warmth and are sustainable. Avoid synthetic and imitation materials.

Formal language

Follow a coherent and consistent criterion when defining materials, furniture, and other elements, which should not be eclectic. Using elements that are part of a series or design family ensures a sense of harmony within the project.

Roche Kaiseraugst, Switzerland

Reduced expression

Remove nonessential elements and superfluous ornaments to create a serene and clear environment, which helps people to concentrate.

Roche Rotkreuz, Switzerland

International Style

Roche buildings are associated with the International Style, which favours clear modular lines and a notion of rigor, while refraining from using stylistic or fashionable elements.

Roche Rotkreuz, Switzerland

Roche values

Roche architecture is based on a set of values rather than on a standardised vocabulary. These values must be reflected in representative buildings of timeless elegance, which act as messengers of corporate culture and make the company tangible for employees.

Roche Basel, Switzerland

Consonance across the site

The space between the buildings and other site components are recognised as consonant and complementary to the shape of the buildings. Design an encompassing site that retains Roche’s clean aesthetics, while respecting the unique context of each setting.


  • Avoid the use of stylistic elements, eclectic or irregular geometries, theatrical spaces, or overdesigned furniture.

  • Avoid dishonest use of materials or materials which imitate others. Avoid graphic theme based work as decoration.

  • Do not use graphic work or motivational corporate narrative text as branding strategy

Key to 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 a reduced number of different materials, prioritizing the natural and authentic.