Theater Strasse, Basel, Switzerland
The international competition held by Archmedium and the Basel, Switzerland Municipal Authorities asked for an information and art exhibition center in a central square in Basel.
The proposed volume cuts deeply into the routes of what Switzerland, Basel and art really represent. Form, function, aesthetics blended with the local traditional materials create a pavilion which is not only a landmark for the area, which directs visitors to exhibitions and places of interest, but also a recreational hub, a meeting space for the citizens, an experience in total and an interpretation of the values and qualities that Swiss culture represents, when given a meaningful volume. The space is elevated on a curved Concrete slab, which underneath hosts utilities and an open bar, and on top one enters on a large space where the information point can be found. From then on, by using horizontal reclaimed wooden branches, cut and place accordingly, slabs, patios (where the spaces described above are located) and ramps are created which gradually lift you on the top of the building, where one can have panoramic views of the area. The wooden structure not only give a sustainable character to the building, but ties it to the Swiss tradition of log cabins and detailed construction techniques that the Swiss are famous for. Additionally, the robust and enclosed character of the exterior with the welcoming curves of the concrete slab, as well as the theatricality and open plan on the interior, reinterpret the qualities of art itself. Art sometimes seems unreachable or not understandable, yet, it allows for everyone to access and understand it, and when one does so, it can lead to revelations, surprises and openness. All the above have been translated into a meaningful volume which takes into account the clear concept and other functional / organizational features.
This competition entry received was published in the top submissions (out of 800).