For the watchmaker’s needs, we designed a new kind of building.
Built horizontally on the hill, the Manufacture fits discreetly into this landscape resulting from the folds of the Jura. Its surroundings create a succession of biotopes characteristic of the region. The whole blends into the geography of the Jura and the astral time. The contours and materials are chosen to intensify the user’s or visitor’s experience of the environment, natural light and the movement of the sun.
The Manufacture houses all the programmes necessary for the manufacture of the most complicated watch movements: research and development, machining, decoration, assembly and administration. These work areas all meet the most demanding requirements of industrialisation and fine watchmaking. They are arranged on the hillside in such a way as to maintain multiple links with its topography, its views and the light necessary for the various watchmaking activities.
The Manufacture has an industrial vocation and brings together on one and the same level all the manufacturing and assembly stations for the precious movements. In a centripetal manner, the necessary programmes find their place according to their orientation and the light they capture. The workshops in the calm northern light and the administration in the dynamic southern light.
In the centre there is a large meeting space which has been named Piazza by the users. It is a place for informal exchanges, workshops, co-creation, and the multiplicity of knowledge that encourages interaction between people, networking of skills and the creation of a strong identity for the watchmakers on the site.
The architecture of the Manufacture has been developed around the comfort and well-being of the craftsmen and the experience of users during their visit, while anticipating the future challenges of the industry and work habits.
In this way, the Manufacture combines the needs of the most advanced industry with the desire for creativity and social emulation of a company resolutely turned towards the future.
ARCHITECTURE OF ATMOSPHERE AND COMFORT
The Manufacture was designed to offer optimised spaces for the design and production of watches, but also to provide employees with spaces for exchange, meeting and socialising.
The natural light was studied in close collaboration with EPFL professor Marilyne Andersen and her laboratory LIPID, as well as her consulting firm Oculight Dynamics. This collaboration has enabled us to implement the most advanced research on light performance, user well-being and psycho-physiology.
The different spaces benefit from natural light, which creates a rich and dynamic interior landscape.
The artificial lighting has been designed with the same attention to detail, in order to provide the workshops with optimal light for the work of the watchmakers. To achieve this, we collaborated with Davide Opizzi, director of DCUBE, and the lighting manufacturer Artemide, in order to develop tailor-made luminaires perfectly adapted to the needs of the various trades.
THE FUTURE OF WORK AND INDUSTRY
The Manufacture is designed as a tool perfectly adapted to the contemporary needs of Fine Watchmaking, and flexible enough to adapt to future industrial changes. The knowledge silos are open to allow co-creation.
The industrial platforms are each oriented according to their own needs in terms of natural light, and are all on the same large, continuous level, allowing for easy exchange of parts and movements between the different workshops.
In parallel with its industrial activity, the Manufacture was designed to receive customers and partners. Its visitor flow has been organised and optimised to offer customers a unique experience in which they are successively immersed in the geography of the region, in the brand’s codes, but also in the heart of the workshops. The architecture thus allows them to discover the work of the watchmakers in an immersive way and to discover a world that is often kept secret.
The Manufacture des Saignoles project, carried out for Audemars Piguet, won the following prizes:
- MIPIM Awards 2023. Winner catégorie BEST INDUSTRIAL & LOGISTICS PROJECT
- Archdaily Building of the Year 2023. Nominated
- ICONIC AWARD 2022. Laureate INNOVATIVE ARCHITECTURE, category ARCHITECTURE Corporate
- German Design Award 2023. Special mention in the category Architecture
- World Architecture Festival. Nominated in the category Completed Buildings: Production energy and recycling
- DEZEEN AWARD. Shortlisted
- DNA AWARD. Honorable mention
- Architizer Award. Finalist
- Prix de l’Immobilier Romand, Laureate catégory Commercial Buildings
- BLT Award. Winner category Industrial Buildings
- Architecture Prize. Winner category Industrial Buildildings