“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:
- The Berlage Archive: Elizabeth Diller (1998)
- The Berlage Archive: David Chipperfield (2001)
- The Berlage Archive: Luis Fernandez Galiano Theory Master Class (1994)
- The Berlage Archive: Rem Koolhaas + Kenneth Frampton (1998)
- The Berlage Archive: Stefano Boeri (2001)
- The Berlage Archive: Elia Zenghelis (2001)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Last November, ArchDaily reported on the new additions to Messe Basel – a multifunctional exhibition building that is designed to become a destination for the public. The project is designed by Basel architecture firm, Herzog & de Meuron and will include additions and relocations of the existing halls of the building. The existing hall will be extended via a three-story addition will replace two existing exhibition halls and include various scales of venues to attract different groups and events. New connections between parts of the building will be bridged with overhead walkways and transparencies between spaces. For a look at the early construction phase, click here.
More updates on the project after the break.
Earlier this month, Roche held a foundation stone-laying ceremony for their new office building that is currently being constructed in Basel, Switzerland. Designed by the Basel-based architecture practice of Herzog & de Meuron, the 178-meter-tall tapering structure will be formed by superimposed floor slabs that narrow as the high rise ascends. Its simple shape and predominantly white color scheme will anchor itself within the urban setting of Basel and become one of the few high rises scattered throughout the city’s skyline.
Continue after the break for more images and information.
Architects: Cruz y Ortiz Arquitectos in collaboration with Giraudi-Wettstein
Location: Basel train station, Centralbahnstrasse 10, 4051 Basel, Switzerland
Completion date: 2003
Collaborators: J. C. Mulero, M. Velasco, L. Gutiérrez. Cruz y Ortiz arquitectos M. Delmenico, T. Radczuweit, P. Vitali. Giraudi-Wettstein, Itten + Brechbühl AG., Technical Surveyors, Passera & Pedretti, Structural Consultant, Rinaldo Passera, Erich Borer, Tadeusz Tzsesiac, Suiselectra Ingenierunternehmungn AG, Services Consultant
Built area: Footbridge: 9.000 sqm
Parking: 14.700 sqm
Client: Passarelle Bahnhof Basel SBB
Photographs: Courtesy of Cruz y Ortiz Arquitectos
Duccio Malagamba shared with us his photographic work on Herzog and de Meuron’s Museum der Kulturen. His photos not just provide us with more images on this exciting design, but allow us to really appreciate the stunning details and architectural elements shown such as its historic walls and beautiful rooftop of irregular folds.
After two years of reconstruction, refurbishment and expansion, it recently re-opened in early September of this year and continues to be one of Europe’s great ethnographic museums. More photos by Duccio Malagamba can be viewed after the break.
The modernization of the Messe Basel is making progress. Developed by Basel architects Herzog & de Meuron on behalf of the MCH Group, the project aims renew the existing exhibition space and become a popular destination for pedestrians and foreign visitors. The new multifunctional exhibition building is scheduled for completion in 2013.
Architects: Herzog & de Meuron Basel Ltd., Basel
Location: Basel, Switzerland
Client: MCH Messe Switzerland AG, Basel, Switzerland
Project Area: 141,000 m2
Construction Period: 2010 – 2013
Photographs: Courtesy of MCH Swiss Exhibition (Basel) Ltd.
Continue reading for more images, renderings and information.