Site area 1076 m2
Building floor area 560 m2
Usable floor space 2196 m2

22·26 Emmenweid

Emmenbrücke I Switzerland


Emmer’s Crinolbau building, a reminder of the town’s industrial past, was in serious need of renovation and due to be redeveloped or replaced. Due to its historical significance, the owners worked closely with the town authorities and Luzern’s historic monuments service on the new-build project. Our brief was to design a contemporary, cost-effective building.

Porträt Stephan Marending

“The fundamental idea is to achieve the highest possible levels of comfort using as little technology as possible.”

Stephan Marending


22·26 Emmenweid is a manifesto for sustainable building in terms of both urban planning and energy efficiency. After detailed examination of the place and its history, what emerged was an innovative, self-assured structure that blends elegantly into the existing environment, enhancing its identity. The new build follows the size and roofline of its predecessor, referencing its past in the subtly offset façade.

An energy-efficient first for Switzerland 

With a ground-breaking energy concept for an office building, 22·26 Emmenweid provides high levels of indoor comfort without heating, cooling or mechanical ventilation. Its name refers to the interior temperature: a constant 22 to 26°C. Temperature stability is achieved through double-skinned walls almost 80 cm thick and the restrained use of glass.

Das Bürogebäude in Emmenweid mit Detail der Aussenfassade
Die Aussenfassade des Bürogebäudes in Emmenweid
Die Aussenfassade des Bürogebäudes in Emmenweid mit Baum
Fensterdetail des Bürogebäudes Emmenweid in der Schweiz
Treppenaufgang im Bürogebäude Emmenweid in der Schweiz
Der Innenraum des Bürogebäudes in Emmenweid mit Fensterfront


Swiss first follows Austrian model – in 2013, in Lustenau, Austria, Baumschlager Eberle Architekten built themselves a new HQ building that requires no ventilation, heating and air conditioning technology. Energy efficiency is often achieved by means of high-tech solutions, but the method 22·26 is based on building physics. The temperatures inside the building are obtained thanks to the heat generated by its users, equipment and lighting. Sensor-controlled ventilation panels control temperature and CO2 levels and ensure a comfortable environment whatever the season.

An architectural statement in a historical setting

Despite references to its predecessor, the new build with its pale plaster finish and generous windows dominates its older neighbours. High construction standards inside and out – a central service core with adjacent kitchenettes and sanitary facilities leaves a broad strip running around the outside of the building for the modular office space. Fit-out and décor are upmarket and restrained, another quality that contributes to 22·26 Emmenweid’s significance as a sustainable building.

Photo credits © Roger Frei



Wienerberger Brick Award | 1st prize, category “Working together”, Wienerberger AG, Vienna, AT

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