CERN's newest building

With a growing number of users looking for offices, the shortage of space has become acute, particularly for physicists. Building 42, inaugurated on Friday 11 February, offers almost 300 new work-spaces and a particularly pleasant working environment.


Mauro Dell’Ambrogio, the Swiss State Secretary for Education and Research (left), Rolf Heuer , CERN Director-General (centre), and Mark Muller, President of the Government of the Republic and Canton of Geneva and Head of the Department of Construction and Information Technology (right) at the opening of Building 42 on 11 February, 2011.


Construction work for the new Building 42 began in January 2009, thanks to support from the Swiss foundation FIPOI (Fondation des immeubles pour les organisations internationales). After two years of work, the building, an extension of Building 40, is ready to accommodate physicists from around the world who have come to work on the LHC. "We had more than 25 external contractors working on the construction site,” explains Michael Poehler, who headed the project in the GS Department. "Despite some technical difficulties we encountered while conducting certain construction works, we managed to finish the construction works on time."

Building 42 is built on the embankment south of Building 40. The two buildings are positioned back-to-back, allowing for clear views of the Geneva countryside as well as easy access to shared amenities, such as the cafeteria and meeting rooms. The floor area is 3200 square metres, with 292 work-spaces grouped into offices with 3-9 desks each. On the third floor, a large open-plan area provides approximately 30 open space work places. In terms of building technology, Building 42 will be CERN’s first new building where all the doors are controlled electronically, and can only be opened with an access card. The building’s window blinds are automatically opened and closed by a weather station. The new building is also greener than the others. “The vegetation-covered green roof requires no special maintenance and retains rainwater during strong weather," notes Michael Poehler.

The new work-spaces in Building 42 have already been made available to over 200 contented physicists, who will soon be settling into their very comfortable new surroundings.


by Anaïs Vernède