JT International by SOM: 2016 Best of Year Winner for Large Corporate Office

PROJECT NAME JT International Headquarters
LOCATION Geneva
FIRM Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
SQ. FT. 400,000 SQF

It’s as if part of this building, a tobacco company’s headquarters, has been lifted off the ground by an architecturally minded giant. The nine-story, 4000-square-foot triangle boasts a “heroic cantilever” in the words of interior design partner Stephen Apking, an Interior Design Hall of Fame member. While Apking led the New York–based interiors team, London design director Kent Jackson helmed the architectural side.


JT International by SOM. Photography by Hufton + Crow. 


The curtain wall’s strong diagonal mullions contribute to the effect of rocketing upward, and the quadruple-glazing features air and roller blinds between the layers, among the building’s many eco-conscious touches. In addition to the glass, white marble and silver tones are pervasive, warmed up by walnut and ipe. A major art commission from Liam Gillick introduces color. “Rather than simply buying something and putting it on the wall, we worked with Liam as a member of our design team,” Apking says. He sees the installation’s series of multicolored powder-coated panels as a “continuous landscape,” following staircases and corridors to define circulation paths from the reception area, all the way up through the office levels, to the cafeteria.


JT International by SOM. Photography by Hufton + Crow.

JT International by SOM. Photography by Hufton + Crow.


Taking the time to integrate art elements, he and Jackson were fortunate not to be rushed. The project’s gestation period was a full three years. How very Swiss.


JT International by SOM. Photography by Hufton + Crow.


Project Team: Anthony Vacchione; Jeffrey McCarthy; Ursula Schneider; John Pickens; Cynthia Mirbach; Lauren Kosson; Yasemin Kologlu; Martin Grinnell; Julia Skeete; Daniel Silva; Linnea Isen; Nicholas Muir; Paolo Rossi; Jérôme Le Dorze; Katherine Pink.


> See more from the December 2016 issue of Interior Design

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