International Labour Office

One of Steiner's most important renovations 


After about five years of work, Steiner AG completed this important project to convert the headquarters of the International Labour Office in summer 2019. This work has enabled the client to provide better working spaces for some 1,400 staff members. The aim of the client was to coincide the end of the project with the centenary of the International Labour Organization, which was founded in 1919. To achieve this goal, Steiner AG optimised its project during the execution phase.


Conservation of the architectural heritage was a guiding principle during the renovation of the International Labour Office.


Lessons learned as the project progressed and the introduction of "Lean" management made it possible to increase the speed of execution without compromising on quality. The division of the work into several phases was also a key factor in the success of this project. It helped to reduce the inconvenience for the staff working in the building. 


This rehabilitation took place on an occupied site in one of Geneva's most emblematic buildings, which was completed in the early 1970s. Improving its energy performance thus required a great deal of ingenuity in order to minimise the impact on the building envelope designed by architects Eugène Beaudouin, Pier Luigi Nervi and Alberto Camenzind.




The building is characterised by its functional architecture with offices on the façade, connected by a double corridor. The façades provide large, light-filled spaces. The renovation project for this building aimed to maintain its functional character while improving the distribution of offices through the introduction of a single module and to promote the modularity of the partitioning thanks to demountable walls. Conservation of the architectural heritage was a guiding principle during the renovation of the International Labour Office. This building, almost 200 meters long and with an atypical shape, represented a floor area of some 50,000 m2 which was modernised in accordance with the architectural spirit. 


The 3900 windows in the building were changed without visually altering the façade. At the end of the project, a reduction in energy consumption of 55% is expected. Spiral staircases were developed and integrated. They are the result of a reflection on the architectural impact and the need to provide escape routes.


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