Between Tradition and Future: VIRTUARCH Switzerland in the Mill

Andrea Bergonzini, Philipp Schaller and Daniel Heusser at VIRTUARCH’s office in Baar, Switzerland; in the background the original milling equipment of Bühler

VIRTUARCH’s office in Baar is located in Obermühle, the oldest mill in the canton of Zug. Originally documented in 1178, the mill was owned by the Schänis nunnery. After over 800 years, the production was outsourced and the industrial area was reused in 2001. The factory buildings and silos were converted into living and office space. The existing building structure was further developed.

Bird view in 1962

During a long time, the landmark of Baar was the silo with the shape of tower in Obermühle, where the millers grinded grain of the surrounding farms. The industrial complex in Obermühle was still influenced by agriculture in 1960s.

The new look of the silo and factory building after the renovation

With the aim of keeping the original shape while creating a friendly work and living athmosphere, windows were cut into the façade of the silo. The unity of apartments in the silo and working area in the factory building contributes to the central hub in the surrounding resident area and the use in the future. Compared with a newly building, the renovation retains much of its original structure and qualities.

In our work, we at VIRTUARCH give great importance to a sustainable working environment which is not only comfortable and inspiring, but also blends into the environment of the sites, taking into account the history and the future. We are happy to have our office in Baar at such a location, where the industrial past and the future are meeting.

An open working area in Baar’s office

The building structure of steel and wood filled with a traditional touch

Under the leadership of Andrea Bergonzini, VIRTUARCH’s Baar office develops and handles projects in Switzerland, neighbouring European countries and for the entire EMEA region.

The biggest factory of BUEHLER in Asia, designed by VIRTUARCH in 2014. The massive 150,000 square meter production, R&D and office site is located in Liyang, Jiangsu Province, P.R.China

A particular inspiration for VIRTUARCH’s work are the original, still functional machines from Bühler Group, one of VIRTUARCH’s customer for whom we have realized several industrial buildings in Asia and which reminds us again and again that good industrial buildings sometimes radiate far beyond their useful life as production sites. The building is also part of an interesting rediscovery trail of the industrial culture of the Canton of Zug and is located near Brauerei Baar AG.

VIRTUARCH designed the factory of BUEHLER in Vietnam, a milestone of VIRTUARCH’s growth in Southeast Asia


VIRTUARCH is an international award-winning design and project management firm originating from Switzerland and with offices in China and Southeast Asia. With over 20 years of experience, we have successfully delivered more than 500 architectural and project management projects in China and across Asia.

If you are planning to build a new factory or would like to renovate your workspace environment, please feel free to book a call with us at

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