GENEVA - Construction work on a new conference hall for World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) will begin later this summer following the signing this week of a contract with Swiss construction firm Implenia who has been selected by an international jury - composed of representatives of WIPO member states - to serve as general contractor. According to WIPO, the conference hall is expected to be completed by mid-2013.
The new conference hall, with a capacity of 900 seats, together with several new smaller meeting rooms in the main headquarters building (the Arpad Bogsch Building), will cater for increasing demand for multilateral and bilateral consultations associated with intergovernmental meetings at WIPO.
Member states earmarked 64.2 million Swiss Francs (CHF) for this project (construction and related work) to be covered from WIPO reserves (24.2 million CHF) and the extension of an existing commercial loan (40 million CHF).
The new hall, designed by Behnisch Architekten of Stuttgart, Germany, gives priority to sustainability, using local wood, natural light, hybrid ventilation combining natural and mechanical means, and a cooling system drawing water from Lake Léman.
The new hall will complete a series of construction projects on the WIPO campus in Geneva, which also included the delivery this year of a new administrative building with some 500 work places. The new building will be officially inaugurated on September 26, 2011 – the opening day of the WIPO annual Assemblies of member states.