World Intellectual Property Organization

Building for the Future

December 2008

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WIPO Director General Francis
Gurry and the Chairman of the
WIPO General Assembly,
Ambassador Uhomoibhi of
Nigeria watch as the cylinder
is placed into its concrete
housing. (Photos: WIPO/ Mercedes Martínez Dozal)

The foundation stone for WIPO’s new office building was officially laid on November 7. During the ceremony several symbolic items – to intrigue and instruct future generations – were placed in a steel cylinder embedded in a concrete block, which will become part of the structure of the building. Included were the WIPO Convention, the WIPO flag, a WIPO medal, the UN Charter, a copy of the bill of sale of the land, the brochure about the architectural competition, a selection of architect’s blueprints, a copy of the contract with the general contractor, a USB key with photographs of the construction site from its start-up in April 2008, the official gazette of that day (Feuille d’Avis Officielle), Swiss coins from 2008 and the ceremony program.

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WIPO’s new building will be one of the first in Geneva to incorporate a sustainable energy source – a cooling system using water from Lac Léman.

 

The new building will have four underground levels, an atrium-style ground floor with a cafeteria and five floors of offices with 560 workplaces. Its design, by the German firm Behnisch Architekten, includes a cooling system using water from deep within Geneva’s lake, and its 1,400 m2 roof will be insulated from summer heat by earth and vegetation (see Green Design – From Cradle to Cradle, WIPO Mag. 2/2007).  

Completion is expected in October 2010. The future WIPO headquarters complex will then comprise five inter-connected buildings.

 

 

 

 

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