Media Release

Basel, 18 September 2015

Roche opens Building 1, its new office building, in Basel

First step in site development strategy concluded

In Basel today, Roche opened Building 1, its new office building. Employees will start moving in in October, and once the move is complete around 2,000 people will work there. The modern architecture encourages collaboration across departmental boundaries and stimulates creativity and innovation – the lifeblood of the company's success.

"Building 1 is the first visible sign of Roche's site development strategy at its Basel headquarters. We will be investing three billion francs in new research and office infrastructure here, equipping the site for continued success," said Roche CEO Severin Schwan. “We also regard Building 1 as a clear commitment to Switzerland and to Basel."

The building was designed by Herzog & de Meuron. Its clear lines and functionality make it a perfect fit with Roche's established architectural tradition.

"Alongside the functionality of the building, its sustainability is also crucially important to Roche. We are proud that Building 1 is one of the most sustainable high-rises in the world.” said Jürg Erismann, Head of the Basel/Kaiseraugst Site. “About 75 percent of the total investment of 550 million francs was awarded to Swiss companies, constituting a significant contribution by Roche to strengthening the regional economy.”

The site development for Basel announced in October 2014 will be implemented in stages over the next few years. The development plan for the new R&D centre and for Building 2 and the other buildings has already been submitted. Roche is in active dialogue with the competent authorities, neighbours and all other stakeholders so as to ensure that planning progresses well.

Building 1 in brief

  • Total investment of 550 million Swiss francs
  • Construction work started in October 2010, shell completed in December 2014
  • An average of around 550 construction workers were on the building site every day
  • 41 floors
  • 74,200 square metres gross floor area
  • Significantly exceeds Minergie standard
  • Building heated entirely with waste heat from the site and cooled with groundwater  •Attractive workplace for around 2,000 employees
  • Modern office infrastructure
  • 500-seat auditorium

About Roche

Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is a leader in research-focused healthcare with combined strengths in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. Roche is the world’s largest biotech company, with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, immunology, infectious diseases, ophthalmology and neuroscience. Roche is also the world leader in in vitro diagnostics and tissue-based cancer diagnostics, and a frontrunner in diabetes management. Roche’s personalised healthcare strategy aims at providing medicines and diagnostics that enable tangible improvements in the health, quality of life and survival of patients. Founded in 1896, Roche has made countless important contributions to global health. Twenty-nine medicines developed by Roche are included in the World Health Organization Model Lists of Essential Medicines, among them life-saving antibiotics, antimalarials and chemotherapy.

In 2014 the Roche Group employed over 88,500 people worldwide, invested 8.9 billion Swiss francs in R&D and posted sales of 47.5 billion Swiss francs. Genentech, in the United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche is the majority shareholder in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan. For more information, please visit

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