Sunstar Suisse is a Japanese multinational company with a new corporate headquarters in Etoy, near Lausanne, Switzerland. Sunstar is no stranger to the importance of design in transmitting company philosophy. In fact, as a healthcare company with product visibility all over the world, it was of utmost importance that health and wellbeing be at the heart of the new headquarters building.
From the very first impact, the design calls attention to a delicate balance between east and west. The reception area separates visitors from the office environment by enveloping them in elements central to the Japanese aesthetic: a tall, live bonsai reaches up into an atrium and is met by natural woven-reed lighting elements by LZF Luzifer. Stepping stones are set into the ribbed stone flooring, softening the geometry. The feeling is at once warm and linear. It is about wooden surfaces, bent and molded wooden furniture by Artek of Finland blends Scandinavian and Japanese design motifs, bright colours and blond wood. It is contemplative and yet up-beat.
This synthesis carries into the executive upper floor design. Glass perimeters and partitions invite the Alpine setting into the tranquil flow of offices and conference rooms. Conference tables are oversize, low slabs of rough hewn wood, Nakamura inspired. They are surrounded by luxurious, red, Italian-designed leather armchairs by Poltrona Frau. A blow-up of Japan’s foremost calligrapher’s iteration of the company motto may look like an oversized Franz Kline in this artful setting, but it is more.