CCHE: more than Architecture

Created in Switzerland more than 100 years ago, CCHE is a company dedicated to urbanism, architecture, interior design and design projects, that can deliver turnkey projects. CCHE has got more than 250 employees, divided by five offices in different countries - one of them, Portugal - and it was the associated architect Carolina Azevedo, from CCHE of Porto, who explained a little more about the work philosophy of this architectural firm.

associated architect Carolina Azevedo, from CCHE of Porto

What are the advantages of having a multidisciplinary team, influenced by different cultures?

CCHE manages urbanism, architecture, interior design and design projects from the moment that they begin to the moment that they are delivered to client. The daily sharing of experiences, knowledge and skills of different locations and sectors is an added value that allows us to offer our clients a variety of projects, with different approaches, to give them coherence, vision and accuracy. The development of innovative methodologies and synergies between different sectors also reinforces our ability to respond to international projects.

One of the first characteristics of Switzerland is quality. How do you combine this with portuguese architecture, which is more creative and adaptable?

Our professional experience during several years in Switzerland has made possible to improve the practice of architecture in technical terms and, above all, to make us aware of the importance of comfort in a house. The thermal requirements to which buildings are submitted in Switzerland are much higher than those practiced in Portugal and the comfort is highly valued. Therefore, we try to combine these constructive swiss details with a creative architectural expression that we inherited from our portuguese background.

One of the great objectives of Architecture is to create buildings as sustainable as possible, without forgetting quality and comfort. How do you combine all these characteristics in your projects?

To create sustainable buildings is one of the main concerns both in Switzerland and in Portugal. It reflects at different times, for instance, in the choice of ecological/recycled materials, but also in the use of solar and photovoltaic panels for heating sanitary waters or to produce electricity, or the installation of geothermal heating. The guarantee that a building meets the requirements of the Swiss energy certification is always required by law and requested by our customers as well. In Portugal, although this certification is not so demanding, we try to let people aware of this practice.  We are the first architectural firm to be certified as Ecoenterprise, in 2009 in Switzerland and we are concerned about taking the ecological qualities of the projects always further.

What are the expectations for this year, in what concerns to projects?

The CCHE has evolved with the permanent concern of assure to the project in which it is working some meaning and innovation. Currently, there are so many restrictions to the development of a project – social, environmental, economic, legal, or even technical – that we rely on innovative tools and methodologies to optimize our work, such as parametric drawing tools, for instance, which allows us to understand the space and its characteristics and to create tailor-made architectural forms and collaboration models. Our company is also reinforcing its commitment to sustainable development through various actions, including the establishment of a specialized in-house team or as an active member of an association that promotes sustainable housing.


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