Manufacture Jaeger LeCoultre  ® Johann Sauty
Architecture & Design

Horology & Architecture: Extension and natural integration at Jaeger-LeCoultre

Ever since its founding in 1833, Jaeger-LeCoultre has been expanding its manufacturing facilities in its favourite environment, the Vallée de Joux. 

By David Richard

The biggest expansion in Jaeger-LeCoultre history

The result of the  seventh extension since 1866 is a building that responds to many specific constraints, notably the proximity of the lake, the fact that it is within the confines of a village, the especially harsh weather conditions, and the objective of obtaining the Minergie energy label.

The modern and sober building is made up of three distinct parts: the first houses sensitive products that are electroplated. The second section consists of a three-level cube with a central patio. It has been assigned the workshops. The third part is for the company restaurant, which boasts views of the lake and the mountains.

Quoting the architect

“An initial project was launched in 2001,  but was abandoned for political and economic reasons. In 2007, the project was back on track with a different programme and implementation plan. The new building was scheduled as a complement to the building we did in 1996-1997. It was to support the original buildings and act as a backbone for production facilities in the wake of the reorganization of the Richemont group’s production.” De Planta & Portier Architectes

Sustainable environment

  • Minergie-label building and hydro-local (power supplied by hydroelectricity)
  • Solar panels: provide hot water production and ensure one-third of the building’s electricity needs.
  • Thermal insulation reinforced by triple glazing
  • Optimization of natural lighting
  • Water recovery systems, cooling of closed-circuit cooling of machines and free-cooling (inflow of fresh air from outside)
  • Use of materials with low grey energy (energy used to produce, manufacture, transport and recycle)
  • Financing of a railway station, shuttle and car-sharing services in order to avoid more exterior parking space and daily traffic estimated at 300 vehicles.

Jaeger-LeCoultre, Le Sentier

Address: Rue de la Golisse 8, CH-1347 Le Sentier, canton de Vaud
Tel.: +4121 845 02 02
Website: www.
Function: Extension of production unit
CEO: Daniel Riedo
Commissioning Studies: 2000/ Designed 2007-2008/ Start of the works in 2008
Completion date: December 2009
Architect: De Planta & Portier Architectes SA (Genève)

The building in numbers

  • Grounds area: 29,000 m2
  • Total surface area of the manufacture: 25,500 m2
  • Extension net surface: 9,560 m2
  • SIA volume: 53,000 m3
  • Total floor area: 10,110 m2
  • Floor space: 3,780 m2
  • Number of stories: 4
  • Occupied work stations: 1,000 (administration and production)


This article is an extract from our series on Horology & Architecture

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