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Dynamic solar and fire protection combined – a modern workspace at Alto Pont-Rouge

The Alto Pont-Rouge office building is the fourth and final part of Geneva’s Esplanade de Pont-Rouge business district. The ESG goals of client Swiss Prime Site, along with the building’s location overlooking the Lancy-Pont-Rouge station, necessitated special requirements for the facade glazing. The solution was devised by Saint-Gobain glass specialists, who opted for a unique combination of dynamic SageGlass electrochromic glass and Vetrotech’s CONTRAFLAM fire protection glass.

A new urban center is under construction around the Lancy-Pont-Rouge, complete with offices, commercial spaces, restaurants, apartments and public buildings. At the heart of the new business district is the Alto Pont-Rouge complex, comprised of four buildings of different heights, all offering an attractive mixed-use space. The first floor is reserved for commercial space, the second floor for services and fitness studios, while the remaining levels are earmarked for administration and office units. 

28,000 m² of office and commercial space is available across 15 floors with 3 underground parking garages, offering prospective tenants an innovative concept for modern working. Shared roof terraces and plenty of communal spaces foster creative exchange and help to promote a better work-life balance. Westhive Co-Working System, Microsoft Switzerland, FlowBank, BNP Paribas and more are among the first tenants.

Natural light at the heart of the building concept

Swiss architectural firm brodbeck-roulet emphasized natural light for the office spaces. A well-lit atrium with an expansive skylight at the center of the building maximizes the amount of natural light and allows daylight to trickle through to the lower levels like a waterfall.

The architects also designed a second skin around the facade with a grid structure that is typical of the area. With its large-format fixed glazing, this creative double facade allows a high volume of natural light to flood the interior. To mitigate the negative effects of direct sunlight, such as glare or excess heat, the Alto complex is equipped with 7,500 m² of SageGlass Harmony© smart windows. This provides the ideal balance of natural light and anti-glare protection thanks to its automatic, gradual tinting. With its dynamic g value of up to 0.03, SageGlass also blocks up to 97% of solar heat gain.

Sustainability at the heart of the project

Designed to be highly energy efficient, the buildings incorporated a geothermal heating and cooling system. The complex also boasts an efficient building shell and good indoor air quality. Large terraces with high trees and hanging gardens help to bolster the project’s biophilic focus and contribute to lowering the building’s carbon footprint. 

The Alto Pont-Rouge is one of the first buildings in Geneva to receive SNBS 2.0 Gold certification, the new Swiss sustainable building standard. This certification labels the building complex as one of the most modern and efficient buildings in the canton of Geneva. "Alto Pont-Rouge is a modern and intelligent 15-storey building in Geneva that is in line with our sustainability strategy. This includes the use of energy-efficient measures, such as the dynamic glazing solution from SageGlass for solar shading. By integrating this solution into the façade, we have created a unique environment with flexible and comfortable spaces, and maintenance work is greatly reduced compared to conventional blackout with blinds," says Kim Schmid, Asset Manager at Swiss Prime Site.

Strict requirements for facade glazing

Located directly on the rail line, the Alto-Pont Rouge complex is subject to special protection requirements. The rail line is used to transport hazardous goods and therefore, the facade facing the railway must meet the most stringent of safety requirements for fire protection. The glazing was also equipped with dynamic glass to let in as much natural light as possible while blocking heat gain.

The solution was devised in the form of a custom product from two Saint-Gobain companies: SageGlass and Vetrotech. This unique solution was a collaboration between the two teams and development lasted over two years from the initial needs assessment to project completion including an extensive period of internal and external testing. The triple-insulated SageGlass CONTRAFLAM has been tested by ift Rosenheim and certified by TÜV Rheinland Nederland BV.


Photo representing the façade of Alto Pont-Rouge. There are shared roof terraces on lower levels of the building.
Photo Credit
Photo by ©Adrien Barakat
The Alto office building is part of the Esplanade de Pont-Rouge project, a new business district in Geneva. ©Adrien Barakat


View on the Alto Pont-Rouge building. In the foreground, there is the railway.
Photo Credit
Photo by ©Adrien Barakat
The nearby rail lines are used to transport hazardous goods, meaning the glazing must meet the most stringent fire protection regulations. ©Adrien Barakat


Workspace in Alto Pont-Rouge building. There is a table and chairs. The space is equipped with SageGlass smart windows, which is tinted.
Photo Credit
Photo by ©Adrien Barakat
Glazing with SageGlass Harmony© glass provides solar protection, allowing for seamless tinting for maximizing natural light without the glare. ©Adrien Barakat


Workspace in Alto Pont-Rouge building. The space is equipped with SageGlass smart windows (tinted state).
Photo Credit
Photo by ©Adrien Barakat
To meet strict fire protection requirements, pre-fabricated SageGlass elements with CONTRAFLAM fire protection safety glass from Vetrotech were combined in a triple-glazed unit. ©Adrien Barakat


About SageGlass

SageGlass helps create low-carbon buildings that enhance occupant wellness by delivering the world’s best smart windows.  Our electrochromic glass tints and clears automatically, optimizing both light and thermal comfort in a space - no need for blinds or shades. With SageGlass smart windows, your buildings can feature a lot of windows, without compromising on energy efficiency and performance. 

As the global leader in smart window technology, SageGlass has partnered with building owners, developers and architects on over 1,500 installations worldwide.  Owned by Saint-Gobain, the world leader in light and sustainable construction, SageGlass is part of a group with over 350 years of building science and glass experience. 

For more information, please visit 


About Saint-Gobain

Worldwide leader in light and sustainable construction, Saint-Gobain designs, manufactures, and distributes materials and services for the construction and industrial markets. Its integrated solutions for the renovation of public and private buildings, light construction, and the decarbonization of construction and industry are developed through a continuous innovation process and provide sustainability and performance. The group's commitment is guided by its purpose, "MAKING THE WORLD A BETTER HOME."

  • EUR 51.2 billion turnover in 2022     
  • 168,000 employees in 75 countries     
  • Commitment to carbon neutrality by 2050

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