built, competition

Montreal Building, World Council of Churches

Shortlist competition, 2nd prize ex aequo with mandate. Housing and daycare centre

Grand-Saconnex, Geneva

2017 - 2022

Montreal Building

The cubic and regular volume of the housing development is part of the so-called “Green Village” masterplan, consisting of a series of similar parallelepipeds surrounding the main building of the World Council of Churches and set in the landscaped context of a large garden. In accordance with the charter governing the ensemble, the architectural register expresses a filigree concrete grid through vertical pillars and wraparound balconies made of prefabricated elements. Its constructive assembly is obvious through the use of corbels. The architectural outline is freely inspired by Henri Lesemann and Honegger Frères’ building (1961–1967) that houses the chapel of Svend Erik Møller: a large order of columns supporting the roof affirms the Perretian theme of sovereign shelter. The treatment of the façades made of bronze-coloured sheet metal also reflects the built heritage context. The matrix of the apartments’ floor plan is organised around a vast distributive atrium that excavates the interior in a sculptural fashion, with a skylight and landings centred around the landing doors. Most of the apartments feature a corner loggia that groups together the daytime spaces and enhances the visual clearances on the parc and the historical garden of Walter Brugger.


Site plan

Cross section

group8, Montreal Building, World Council of Churches, Grand-Saconnex, Geneva, 2017 - 2022


World Council of Churches, Implenia Suisse SA

Commission type

Shortlist competition, 2nd prize ex aequo with mandate

Photo credits

©Cédric Widmer