Roche to develop alternative project to planned office high-rise

RocheRoche has decided for technical reasons not to continue with its office high-rise in the form originally planned. It became apparent during the project design phase that the building would not be capable of satisfying key functional requirements despite the high investment. Furthermore, the planned building would be very complex to maintain and operate. Nevertheless, Roche intends to consolidate the 1,700-plus off-site workplaces in Basel at its headquarters, and to this end will prepare an alternative project. The company will still be able to adhere to its existing time schedule.

"This was not an easy decision to take", said Franz B. Humer, Chairman of Roche's Board of Directors. "All our projects ultimately have to withstand an exhaustive business analysis. But the professional development work carried out by everyone involved in planning the building deserves great recognition."

Severin Schwan, CEO of the Roche Group adds: "After examining the project closely, we came to the conclusion that although the office high-rise was feasible, it was unable to meet all our functional requirements. The planning team's experience will now be put to good use in developing an alternative approach to provide for the required office space."

Roche had intended to submit its building application for the high-rise in the second quarter of 2009. Given the scale of the project, Roche took the conscious step of briefing employees, neighbours, the city of Basel and other stakeholders about its intention at a very early stage in autumn 2006. In the course of the development work it became apparent that the scheme would not be able to meet important requirements. For example, the company would have had to forego a large 500-seat auditorium and several central meeting rooms. Roche will now develop an alternative project, which will continue the company's architectural heritage as well as meeting its functional needs. Roche's architecture in Basel has been an expression of its culture for the past 112 years since it was founded.

About site development at Roche
Current site development at Roche Basel continues to be based on a planning strategy that guarantees maximum flexibility and allows the company to adapt to its ever-changing needs. The strategy aims to bring together the global and corporate functions on the site area south of the Grenzacherstrasse, with the infrastructure-intensive research, development and production units located on the site north of the road. Apart from meeting operational requirements, Roche attaches great importance in all its new-build schemes to upholding the high standards of industrial architecture for which it is renowned.

About Roche
Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is one of the world's leading research-focused healthcare groups in the fields of pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. As the world's biggest biotech company and an innovator of products and services for the early detection, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases, the Group contributes on a broad range of fronts to improving people's health and quality of life. Roche is the world leader in in-vitro diagnostics and drugs for cancer and transplantation, and is a market leader in virology. It is also active in other major therapeutic areas such as autoimmune diseases, inflammatory and metabolic disorders and diseases of the central nervous system. In 2007 sales by the Pharmaceuticals Division totalled 36.8 billion Swiss francs, and the Diagnostics Division posted sales of 9.3 billion Swiss francs. Roche has R&D agreements and strategic alliances with numerous partners, including majority ownership interests in Genentech and Chugai, and invested over 8 billion Swiss francs in R&D in 2007. Worldwide, the Group employs about 80,000 people. Additional information is available on the Internet at