In Basel’s Old Town quarter, on a stretch formerly known as the Cultural Mile, the Musiksaal concert hall radiates the luxury of a bygone era. Basel-based Herzog & de Meuron recently completed an extension and restoration of the 1876 Johann Jakob Stehlin–designed building. The music venue and home to the Basel Symphony Orchestra is a protected site; working with the Cultural Heritage Department, the architects decided to restore the interior to the state of an earlier intervention dating to 1905. The extension—which doubles the size of the Musiksaal by adding dressing rooms, foyers, and more vertical circulation—echoes neo-Baroque tradition. Grand, loggia-like recesses are illuminated by LEDs designed to look like historical crystal chandeliers (hammered sheet metal on the ceilings reflects and enhances this light), while the architects even had the original brocade wallpaper reproduced to give the new addition a familiar finish. Sadly, for now, Covid restrictions have halted concerts.
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