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Architecture & Design

Manufacture Piaget - a case for all calibres

HOROLOGY & ARCHITECTURE – 4th manufacture : PIAGET

The building, designed by Swiss architect Pierre Studer, is located next to a motorway junction in Plan-les-Ouates, Geneva. It was conceived as a ring that symbolises both the brand's watchmaking and jewellery activities.

By David Richard

A well-integrated horological reference seen from above

At the heart of the construction is a concrete building extended by a footbridge used for the visitor access that looks somewhat like a suspended watch hand above an area of green. The building consists of a reception and administrative offices as well as a general service area and a restaurant. It is flanked by two production halls made of wood. Piaget makes use of line production, so the halls have a 57-metre framework without any pillars or partitions that would take up space. Natural light pours in from large plate glass windows. The interior and exteriors make use of lots of wood, a natural material, which, according to the architect, “avoids damaging the precious metal and by the same token symbolizes a jewelry case.”

Site evolution

In 2008, Piaget commissioned Pierre Studer with the 850-m2 extension of the site to enlarge working space by 10% to 9,300 m2.

Quoting the architect

The Piaget manufacture in Plan-les-Ouates is often described as being shaped like a watch, and is associated with that shape as well.  I designed it as a symbol of circular time: half-buried in a ring and floodlit at night. One can use three words to describe it: daring, creative and practical.” Pierre Studer

Sustainable environment

  • Solar panels installed for bathroom water
  • “Blue power”: 97 % hydroelectricity usage
  • Water savings: rainwater recovery and implementation of an irrigation system for watering the greenery
  • Energy-efficient lighting

Piaget, Plan-les-Ouates

Address: Piaget, chemin du Champ-des-Filles 37 CH-1228 Plan-les-Ouates, canton de Genève
Telephone: +41 22 884 4844
Website: www.piaget.com
Function: Head office and production unit
CEO: Philippe Leopold-Metzger
Assignment Architecture: Competition opened in 1999
Completion date: 2001
Architect: Pierre Studer SA (La Chaux-de-Fonds)

The building in numbers

  • The half-buried building inside a ring 150-metres in diameter  is easily visible from the sky.
  • Grounds area: 29,129 m2
  • Hall No.1: 2,628 m2
  • Hall No.2: 1,124 m2
  • Main building : 4,459 m2
  • Length of the main building : 170 m
  • Height of the halls: 4.5 m
  • Occupied workstations: 360 (administration and production)

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

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