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EM2N to Build Basel's New Museum of Natural History and State Archives

EM2N has won first prize in an international competition to design the new Museum of Natural History Basel and the State Archives Basel-City. Selected over 22 other proposals, the winning scheme "Zasamane" will unite both institutions within a single "storehouse" that will "combine knowledge about nature and culture" of the Swiss city. The elongated building will take shape with a subtle stagger that responds to the neighboring railway line and increases in density as it approaches Vogesenplatz. A slender tower will anchor the building, offering an "urban symbol" for both institutions.

View from Vogesenplatz. Image © EM2N; Render by Ponnie Images View from Vogesenplatz. Image © EM2N; Render by Ponnie Images Shared entrance hall. Image © EM2N; Render by Luxigon Staircase hall Museum of Natural History Basel. Image © EM2N; Render by Luxigon

Olson Kundig’s “Outpost Basel” Lounge Opens at Design Miami/Basel

Seattle-based architects Olson Kundig have opened their "Outpost Basel" pavilion for the Collectors Lounge at Design Miami/Basel in Basel, Switzerland. Incorporating materials and cultural elements from America, Japan, Austria, and Romania, the pavilion is a “high-design space made from everyday materials,” with a design centered on the idea of contrast, much like the concept of yin-yang. Different levels of lighting, material colors, and uses of space are contrasted with balance in order to create a functional, flexible meeting and gathering space.

© Kevin Scott © Kevin Scott © Kevin Scott © Kevin Scott

2015 European Summer Exhibition Guide

Exhibitions, much like publications and films, are one of the key contemporary methods for the communication of architectural concepts and ideas. They allow the practice, curator or educative body to edit and present information and visuals in a way which narrates a story, provokes new ideas, or feeds into a wider discourse. For many, exhibitions are an invaluable source of inspiration and an engaging way of gaining new, or reaffirming old, knowledge and design precedents. Intimately linked to the space or place in which they are displayed, the best exhibitions also remind us that the practice of architecture is both a profession and a discipline; a valuable way of understanding the built, and unbuilt, world we live in.

If you're traveling to, living or studying in Europe this summer then dive into our compilation of what we consider to be some of the most informative and exciting exhibitions on show in between June and October 2015. If you visit them, or any other exhibitions that you enjoy, share a photograph on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #archdailyexhibitions.

Check out our favourite exhibitions on architecture, urbanism and design, from Jyväskylä to Milano, after the break. 

Architecture: Concept and Notation at SAM The Brutalist Playground, London. Image © Assemble & Simon Terrill UK Pavilion / Wolfgang Buttress. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu 'Africa' at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. Image © Kere Dano

Jan Gehl: “Architects Know Very Little About People”

Danish urban planner and committed pedometer user Jan Gehl is an expert in creating “cities for people.” Following a recent talk he gave on sustainable cities in Basel, Gehl sat down with Tages Wocke to discuss what makes a city desirable and livable. “We found people’s behavior depends on what you invite them to do,” says Gehl. “The more streets you have, the more traffic you get. A more attractive public realm will be used by more people.” Read the full interview and see why Gehl thinks social and psychological sciences should be taught in architecture school, here

HHF Architects Transform Existing Parking Structure into Public Destination

Swiss firm HHF Architects have released images and drawings for "Parking & More," a mixed-use structure and public facility for Basel's Dreispitz quarter.

An addition to an existing steel parking complex, "Parking & More" combines a parking lot with eateries, sport facilities, and shops, "creating a vibrant and lively street and a partially covered urban plaza." The project is adjacent to BIG's Transitlager ad Herzog & de Meuron's 312 Helsinki Dreispitz, forming a triumvirate of new developments that reflect the area's rapid rates of densification and urbanisation. Read more about "Parking & More" and view selected images after the break.

Courtesy of HHF Courtesy of HHF Courtesy of HHF Courtesy of HHF

Herzog & de Meuron Designs 205-Meter Tower and Research Center for Swiss Pharmaceutical Company

Herzog & de Meuron has unveiled plans for the modernization of the Roche pharmaceutical company’s Basel headquarters. With the first tower already under construction, the overall vision is to consolidate and update all existing facilities, including a historic Otto R. Salvisberg-designed office building, as well as construct a new, four-tower research center and 205-meter tall office tower by 2022. 

"The planned consolidation of the existing industrial site will eliminate the need to build over green zones", emphasizes Jürg Erismann, Head of the Basel/Kaiseraugst Site. "Instead, Roche will be making more efficient use of those parts of the site that have already been developed but cannot be expanded.” 

The Berlage Archive: Jacques Herzog (1998)

"What does architecture mean? Does it mean something? Where do you put it?" These are a few of the questions Jacques Herzog poses in this 1998 lecture at the Berlage Institute. Inspired by the concept that architecture is inherently a form of communication, Herzog, who co-founded Herzog & de Meuron with Pierre de Meuron, highlights nine of the firm's projects which all share similarities that feed into one another. The lecture, Herzog explains, is about using varied forms of language to create a conversation. Basel, a Swiss city bordering three countries and the home base of the firm, is characterized by many languages. Architecture, Herzog argues, is also a choreographed dance of languages, including those of art, music, light, void and mass, skin and surface, transparency and obscurity, layering and materiality.

Beginning with the Goetz Collection in Munich and describing the bands of light that cut through its cubic form, and continuing on to the play with existing urban factors and natural light to enhance the "impressive mass" of the Tate Modern, Herzog describes the poetry of design. He continues on to discuss Studio Remy Zaugg, a collaboration with Remy Zaugg for the Centre Pompidou, a psychological look at the urban study of Basel, the proposal for the MOMA Extension in New York, the Pritzker winning Signal Box, and the complex conceptual and physical layers of both the Laban Dance Centre in Deptford and the Dominus Winery in Napa. At the end, Herzog requests "critical" questions from the audience, inviting an exploratory conversation that provides insight into the design process of the architects and the experience of the users.

In answering an audience member's question, Herzog describes the mindset behind his dynamic practice: "If I knew what I'm doing, I probably wouldn't do it anymore. I wouldn't be interested in getting up in the morning, if I knew that's exactly how architecture works…it would be boring, if I knew this is my way."

Don’t miss the other lectures in The Berlage Archive series

'Frozen Time' Installation / Dorell.Ghotmeh.Tane / Architects

Dorell.Ghotmeh.Tane / Architects recently completed their 'Frozen Time' Installation for a Japanese watch brand CITIZEN in Baselworld which is the largest watch and jewel industry exhibition in the world. This year, the main exhibition hall was fully renewed, therefore all the brands are intended to express their next 4 year’s vision. Instead of just renewing entire booth for next 4 years, CITIZEN reserved a large reception space to be opened and to present an installation every year as space to evolve and to express their fundamental identity of ‘Challenging spirits’. More images and architects' description after the break.

Messe Basel New Hall / Herzog & de Meuron, by Hufton + Crow

Designed by Herzog & de Meuron, the Messe Basel New Hall stands out as an important urban planning matter for the development of the surrounding Kleinbasel neighborhood. The exceptional photographic work of Hufton + Crow highlights the highly modern building and optimum exhibition areas while showing how this interconnected design ensures flexibility for various events. The concentration of exhibition halls around the Messeplatz (Exhibition Square) is the key entrepreneurial aim of the Messe Basel leadership in its further development. A complete gallery of images can be viewed after the break.

Zoo Basel Ozeanium 2nd Prize Winning Proposal / HHF & Burckhardt + Partner

HHF & Burckhardt + Partner shared with us their second prize winning proposal for the Zoo Basel Ozeanium, which is embedded in the city and used as a park by residents and visitors. The proposed Ozeanium accommodates the scale of the surrounding buildings, such as the Rialto swimming pool, the market hall and the tall buildings on the city ring. The striking, confident construction volume is a clear indication of what an attraction this will be, enriching the city in a central location. The redesigning of the green area Nachtigallenwäldeli and the construction of the new Ozeanium, an ocean aquarium, on the Heuwaage are bringing the zoo and the park area even closer to the city center, to form an attractive living environment and recreational area. More images and architects’ description after the break.

New Crematorium in the Hörnli Cemetary Competition Entry / Josep Ferrando, David Recio, Rafael Aliende

The proposal by Josep Ferrando, David Recio, and Rafael Aliende for the new crematorium in the Hörnli cemetery respects the identity of the protected existing building while establishing a void between it and the upper street level, an “entrance space”. This “empty-built” space between the two buildings, the existing one and the new one, becomes the entry square because of their connection in the underground level. This way, the new building appears as a visually independent and representative piece, isolated among the trees. More images and architects’ description after the break.

UPDATE: Boltshauser Architekten Wins Competition To Design Basel Aquarium

Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects
Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects

As a follow up to our recent post on the recent win by Boltshauser Architekten for their Basel Aquarium design in Switzerland, we wanted to share with you the other entries by Zaha Hadid Architects, David Chipperfield Architects and Caruso St John Architects. Zaha Hadid’s ‘Blue Cave,’ while praised for its excellent quality, was criticised for its thin visitor aisles; the jury felt the “dynamic” styling of the building’s interior would have been in competition with the aquariums, and so the project came in third out of the 15 shortlisted entries. More information and images on the other entries, after the break.

Boltshauser Architekten Wins Competition To Design Basel Aquarium

Courtesy of Boltshauser Architekten
Courtesy of Boltshauser Architekten

Swiss architecture practice, Boltshauser Architekten, recently won an international competition to design a new aquarium in the center of Basel, Switzerland. Their concept, titled ‘Seacliff’, was noted by jury members as being the best match for the public image cultivated by the Basel Zoo. The above-ground building space proposed by Boltshauser was smaller than any of the other competition entries, offering the best solution from an urban development perspective. Beating out such prominent firms as Zaha Hadid Architects, David Chipperfield Architects, and Caruso St John Architects, Boltshauser’s winning project is due for completion in 2019 with an estimated cost of £54 million. More images and information after the break.

VoltaMitte / Christ & Gantenbein

  • Architects: Christ & Gantenbein
  • Location: Basle, Switzerland
  • Design Team: Mona Farag, Marion Clauss, Stefan Heiniger, Laura Schneider, Mathias Sehn, David Vaner
  • Site: 6,900
  • Client: Swiss Life
  • Area: 0.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2010
  • Photographs: Tonatiuh Ambrosetti

© Tonatiuh Ambrosetti © Tonatiuh Ambrosetti © Tonatiuh Ambrosetti © Tonatiuh Ambrosetti

WohnWerk / Christ & Gantenbein

  • Architects: Christ & Gantenbein
  • Location: Basle, Switzerland
  • Design Team: Julia Tobler, Tabea Lachenmann, Berend Frenzel, Nicole Ritschard, Marcus Kopper, Anette Schick
  • Client: Verein Jugendfürsorge
  • Area: 0.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2010
  • Photographs: Roman Keller

© Roman Keller © Roman Keller © Roman Keller © Roman Keller