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Gebert Ruf Foundation ETH Zurich University of Geneva CTI Canton de Vaud epfl Pro Helvetia Fast Metrics University of Zurich

Our Building Today

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on the phone


The swissnex San Francisco building is located in the heart of the city at the vibrant crossroads of the Financial District, Chinatown, and Italian North Beach.

The historic brick and timber structure fuses with the contemporary aesthetic of acclaimed industrial designer Yves Béhar, highlighting our innovative approach to international knowledge exchange. Our building is the nexus through which we fulfill our mission.

Inside our walls, we house an event space, boardroom, and offices that empower our constituents to connect.




 Photo Courtesy of the California Historical Society

Erected in 1852, the swissnex San Francisco building’s first tenant was the Golden Era newspaper, where poet Bret Harte was a typesetter when he penned his first published poem. Literary giant Mark Twain also worked for the paper, and it was here that he is said to have thought up his novel, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. During the 1860’s, the building was used as an appliance store, a crockery shop, and billiard table manufacturer. It later sheltered a Chinese broom factory.


Before the 1880’s the upper floor was converted into a meeting area known as Lafayette Hall, where the Lafayette Guard, a militia company, had its armory. It has survived two major earthquakes, one in 1906 and the other in 1989. In 1969, the site was designated a San Francisco Historic Landmark and now forms one of the cornerstones of the historic Jackson Square Historic District.


Share our Office


The swissnex San Francisco building—in the heart of San Francisco—is an edgy mix of historic and contemporary aesthetics by acclaimed industrial designer Yves Béhar. Our open floor plan is designed to maximize knowledge sharing and facilitate collaboration. We have 21 workspaces and visitors’ desks available on a short- and long-term basis for groups and individuals active between Switzerland and North America whose missions align with our own.

Not only can you use our desks, boardroom, event space, and other facilities, but if you work in our building, you can also leverage our wide web of trusted experts and our own knowledge of many fields in Switzerland and North America. If you are active across our regions and are planning to be in San Francisco, please contact us to find out if we have a space for you.

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