ZURICH (CH) - The home base of one of the world's largest sporting associations, FIFA, is located in a wooded area outside Zurich. The monolithic headquarters, designed by Tilla Theus, runs to seven floors, of which five are underground: although 134-metres-long and 41-metres-deep, the building rises a mere twelve metres above the ground. Distributed over these seven levels are FIFA's management offices, an auditorium, conference rooms, an integrated training centre and underground car park.
The building stands out because of its highly contrasting, geometric form and high-tech aesthetics. Mechanical weaver GKD developed a special woven metal mesh, consisting of a combination of stainless steel and aluminium. The building's second skin is made up of 312 mesh panels, each measuring 18-metres-long by 1.6-metres-wide. Applied with a 90° twist over the glass facade, it is meant to symbolize a goal net. Owing to a special technique, the 9000 m2 facade was installed in just four weeks. In addition to its aesthetic qualities, the metal weave allows views out, acts as solar shading and climate control and, thanks to its weather resistance, has a virtually unlimited lifespan.
At night the facade becomes a luminous projection screen for an innovative lighting scheme devised by American light sculptor James Turrell.