The headquarters of Ticino’s energy utility company, Azienda Elettrica Ticinese (AET) is located in what Marc Augé would have ­described as a ‘non-place’. The A2 motorway borders the east of the site, a local road borders the western side and a vehicular bridge traverses the site connecting Bellinzona with the neighbouring town of Monte Carasso.

It was precisely this junction that participants of the design competition for AET’s new office building had to negotiate in 2011. The aim was to accommodate all members of staff in one location. The architects Meyer e Piattini and Francesco Fallavollita won the competition with a design consisting of a high-rise and a low-rise block. In the end, only the latter was completed for approximately 100 employees.

The characteristic concrete grid enveloping the three-storey new-build is a remnant from the original competition design. Its strict order is reminiscent of the buildings designed by Livio Vacchini and Luigi Snozzi; the latter well-known Swiss architect designed a number of Ticino’s post-war architectural landmarks in the nearby town Monte Carasso.