Basel: The Latest Architecture and News
The exhibition «Swim City», held at the S AM Swiss Architecture Museum from the 25th of May to the 29th of September 2019, is the first to draw attention to a particular contemporary phenomenon in urban space: river swimming as a mass movement. Swiss cities have played a leading role in the development of this activity over the last few decades, gradually opening up the river as a natural public space within the built environment. The river has thereby become a place of leisure, open to all, located right in front of residents’ doors and seamlessly integrated into everyday life.
The 45 million CHF (44.7 million USD) transformation project is the first publicly-funded large facility in the Kleinbasel district, and will unite and unlock two previously disconnected and enclosed spaces on the Rhine River. The 9,000 sqm project by the Swiss firm is currently under construction and is expected to be complete in 2021.
For ten consecutive years, Vienna ranks first in the Mercer survey on cities with the best quality of life in the world. In this edition to the global ranking, eight Western European cities join the top ten, even when "trade tensions and populist undercurrents continue to dominate the global economic climate", as Mercer points out in its report.
Herzog & de Meuron has been selected as the winners of a competition to design the new master plan of the Nordspitze community in the northermost part Basel’s Dreispitz district. Organized around two large public green spaces, the mixed-use community will feature three residential skyscrapers that will become the three tallest residential buildings in the city.
Emerging international architecture office KOSMOS has unveiled 6 projects exploring potential collective spaces in the city of Basel, Switzerland. Unveiled during Art Basel, the speculative projects were featured in the Forum Basel exhibition curated alongside Museum Director Andreas Ruby and Stéphanie Savio, and emerging Chilean practice Plan Común. Held at the Swiss Architecture Museum (S AM), the architecture exhibition was held “in reaction to the increasing commodification of urban space today” and dedicated itself to investigating new possibilities for public space in Basel. Check out the projects, with descriptions from KOSMOS, below.
Atelier Peter Zumthor has revealed conceptual designs for their CHF 100 million ($100 million USD) addition of the Beyeler Foundation in Riehen, Switzerland, just outside of the city of Basel. Located on land formerly off-limits to the public, the extension will add an array of new event and gallery spaces to the existing museum, designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop and opened in 1997.
Drawing from the “village-like character” of Riehen, the addition will consist of three, relatively small new buildings that blend harmoniously into the museum’s nature-filled setting: a stoic building for administration and service, a glass pavilion for events, and a grand House for Art. Together, their arrangement will help to create a subtle link between the new and old areas of the site.
In one of his 1922 travel essays for the Toronto Star Ernest Hemingway wrote, in a typically thewy tone, of “a small, steep country, much more up and down than sideways and all stuck over with large brown hotels built [in] the cuckoo style of architecture.” This was his Switzerland: a country cornered in the heartland of Europe and yet distant from so much of its history. A nation which, for better or worse and particularly over the course of the 20th Century, has cultivated and become subject to a singularly one-dimensional reputation when it comes to architectural culture and the built environment.
In another photoset from his latest Switzerland trip, photographer Laurian Ghinitoiu takes us inside Christ & Gantenbein’s recently-opened addition to the Kunstmuseum Basel. The design, winner in an international competition in 2009, sought to create a “contemporary brother” to the original museum, opening up to the street through its angled form. The monochromatic brick facade also responds to its context and historic neighbor, while hiding a wraparound LED screen beneath to create a frieze with a technological twist.
Check out the full series of shots, after the break.
In this latest photoset, photographer Laurian Ghinitiou gives us a first look at BIG’s Transitlager, a new mixed-use arts complex located within and around an existing warehouse building in Basel, Switzerland. Now nearing completion, the renovation and expansion is characterized by its reaction to the existing geometries of the nearby industrial infrastructure, taking the form of two distinct buildings, one placed on top of the other. The complex will contain a series of multifunctional floors for art, commerce, working and living in becoming the center of the new arts district of Dreispitz.
Check out the full series, below.
The office of Peter Zumthor has been selected to design an expansion to the Beyeler Foundation, located just outside Zumthor’s childhood home of Basel, Switzerland. The Swiss architect was chosen from a prestigious shortlist of 11 firms to add to the existing museum building, designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop and completed in 1997.
“The sky above Basel, the city and its surroundings–those are the landscapes of my youth,” said Zumthor. “It is heart-warming to be able to design a major building here.”
Earlier this summer, the Vitra Schaudepot on the Vitra Campus was officially opened. The latest in a string of structures designed by emerging and well-known architects, this gallery space is the second building by Swiss-practice Herzog & de Meuron. Conceived as "a visible storage facility" presenting a cross-section of the Vitra Design Museum's extensive collection of furniture and lighting, over 400 objects will provide "a comprehensive introduction to the history of furniture design." Featuring a café, shop and a new entrance for visitors to the museum, the building is also able to host temporary exhibitions. Photographer Laurian Ghinitoiu has turned his lens to this latest addition in Weil am Rhein.