built, competition

Saphir & Tourmaline

Shortlist competition, winning project. Two housing buildings

Chêne-Bourg, Geneva

2014 - 2023

Saphir & Tourmaline 

Echoing the Léman Express railway stop, whose roofing and protrusions are the result of the repetition of large-format glass units, the two new buildings take on the architectural style of a
regular grid sheltering the domestic design of apartments in the manner of “urban shelves”. The large scale of the infrastructure is extended into the modularity of the building structure, achieved
simply by superimposing massive pillars on thin slabs, thus creating the urban scale of the building. The layout proposes a softening of the tip by providing an additional face that opens onto the station square, thus giving more fluidity to the spatial
flow with the new street. The apartments’ design is based on an open space, punctuated by events housed between concrete pillars. The fluid space of the apartments thus benefits from the contrasting characteristics of the site, i.e. a vast esplanade to the north providing views onto a green landscape and a pedestrian street to the south defined by two urban alignments. On the ground floor, a continuous arcade confirms the urban status of the street and provides a sheltered space with various entrances for the apartments and showcases of the shops.

cross section

typical floor plan

group8, Saphir & Tourmaline , Chêne-Bourg, Geneva, 2014 - 2023


Housing, student housing, day-care centre, housing for seniors


Residential buildings next to the Léman Express stop in Chêne-Bourg


Association Nicolas Bogueret (ANB), Valorisation immobilière éthique SA (VIE)

Commission type

Shortlist competition, winning project


Tourmaline : Architecte et direction des travaux group8 // Ingénieur civil AB Ingénieurs // Ingénieur électricien Energy Plus // Ingénieur CVS Energy Plus // Ingénieur protection incendie - sécurité, Orqual // Acousticien Décibel Acoustique Géomètres HCC // Ingénieurs Ingénieur parasismique Résonance // Saphir: Entreprise Total Pillet

Photo credits

Cédric Widmer