A Global Family: The Roche Diagnostics Strategic Master Plan (SMP) sets a new global benchmark for responsible corporate campus design with an emphasis on sustainability and employee wellness. Initiated in 2014, Roche developed and implemented the global SMP to design with locally specific solutions for flexible, sustainable working environments. This approach celebrates the inherent cultural, environmental and architectural characteristics of each site while maintaining consistent branded guidelines. Each site demonstrates a clear commitment to elevating intentional planning and design to promote better science through collaborative, healthy spaces.
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Roche Diagnostics Strategic Master Plan
Urban Design (Built)
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) | Roche Capex and Real Estate
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM)
Tucson: Plan: SOM Architect: ZGF Landscape: Ten Van Eyck Suzhou: Plan: SOM Architect: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM Chicago) Landscape: SWA Sant Cugat: Architecture and Landscape: Battle i Roig Arquitectes, Barcelona
Multiple; Tucson, Arizona; Sant Cugat, Span; Suzhou, China
©Maris Mezulis (Tucson) ©SOM (Plans and Diagrams) ©Hezhenhuan (Suzhou) ©Jonnu Singleton (Suzhou) ©Tom Harris (Indiannapolis) ©Jordi Surroca (Sant Cugat)
Healthy, Collaborative Communities
The team developed through stakeholder engagement guidelines for each site at the onset to establish clear development plots, corridors, circulation spines with coordinated infrastructure. Each site integrates sociocultural patterns to maximize collaboration, community-building and place-making through access and connection points at every 100 meters to increase walkability and connection with the wider district. Central gathering and community spaces further promote collaboration and celebrate the diverse multinational culture of Roche Diagnostics’ employees.
The SMP has been implemented across nine Roche sites and informed 20 large scale CapEx projects from early planning to delivery, carrying the Roche’s global vision for collaborative, diverse working communities catered to each place and practice. Three sites in particular – Suzhou in China, Tucson, Arizona in North America, and Sant Cugat in Spain – exemplify the adaptability and consistency of the SMP.
In Suzhou, cool-tones inspired by local materials promote serenity and purity of material. Walls and openings act as backdrops for water and vegetation, inspired by traditional water gardens of the area. In contrast, the warm sandy tones and monolithic concrete of the Tucson campus both protect against and respond to the hot Arizona desert climate through passive self-shading and thermal massing. Intersecting arroyo corridors provide mountain views to the east, while stone-like materiality and local landscaping preserve the desert’s environmental character. In Sant Cugat, the highly social Mediterranean spirit is embodied through biophilic and flexible indoor spaces for community events that let sunlight in and promote views to the mountains beyond. The ’umbracle’ tradition (dome-covered garden with filtered light) is reinterpreted through the new building facade, a central trellis structure that shades the southern and eastern orientations.
Planning for Resilience
Designed for flexibility and longevity, Roche urban frameworks accommodate the changing needs and uses of each campus over time. Product and assembly guidelines further promote resilient, long-lasting developments according to the global Roche brand with easily repairable climate-specific materials. Sustainable strategies for resilience mitigate climate change by reducing operational energy, carbon emissions, and integrating with the existing landscape. Regionally specific gardens at the Suzhou and Sant Cugat campuses contribute to natural stormwater management during seasonal flood events. District-wide heating and cooling systems, central plants, and efficient routing strategies reduced energy demands and operational carbon footprints, globally. Suzhou’s administration building is certified LEED Platinum and Tucson’s new Forum building is powered by 100% renewables. Sant Cugat leverages passive strategies like natural ventilation to reduce its operational energy consumption and innovative construction solutions, reducing its associated carbon emissions by 45%.
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) is a global collective of architects, designers, engineers, and planners, responsible for some of the world’s most technically and environmentally advanced buildings and significant public spaces, including mixed-use districts such as Denver Union Station, Millennium Park,
Bronzeville Lakefront, and countless other urban masterpieces. From a strategic regional plan to a single piece of furniture, SOM’s designs anticipate change in the way we live, work and communicate, and have brought lasting value to communities around the world. The firm’s approach is highly collaborative, and its interdisciplinary team is engaged on a wide range of international projects, with creative studios based across the globe.