An Automated Snake

By Smriti Agrahari

Much advanced technology and automation come together with the nature-inspired architectural design. One can create an architectural work that generates experiences with the full embodiment of physical and spiritual presence. To achieve this, first, it is necessary to understand nature. The Japanese architect Shigeru Ban has built one of the world’s largest timber-framed constructions at creating the reptilian curves of the new Swatch, headquarters in Biel. The structure is inspired by the curve of An Automated Snake.

Image credits – Swatch

This time Swatch, the Swiss watch brand has grabbed the viewers eyeball not by their designer watch pieces or collaborations but for its magnificent new headquarter at the Swiss town of Biel. With a length of 240 metres and a width of 35 metres, its scaly reptilian body slithers along next to the Suze river and looks as if it is on the point of devouring another nearby building. Some people see it as a giant snake, whereas for others it is definitely the skin of a dragon. This monstrous creature actually houses the new Swatch headquarters, and the building being swallowed contains the watch museum. 

Ban designs remarkable structures. He combines high-tech with low-tech using natural resources – in the past he has even proven that it is possible to build using paper. In 2014 he was awarded the for his innovative thinking, his unconventional approaches and his social commitment.

The building with the new Swatch headquarters slithers along the banks of Suze river.

Image credits – Swatch

Swiss watch giant Swatch asked the visionary Japanese architect to mastermind the new Swatch and Omega Campus, to produce an impressive construction and a showpiece that would be visible from a distance and reflect the pioneering spirit of the company. 

Image credits – Swatch

The building has a special feature: the glass facade of the slender, 13-storey structure can be opened upwards along its entire length.

Image credits – Swatch

Image credits – Swatch. Find more information about the structures and their features here. If you find An Animated Snake interesting please look into Fortress During the Night.