An architectural tour of Basel and its environs reveals no fewer than 21 completed buildings by the office of natives Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron, with a major addition to the city's convention center and a 213-foot office tower for Novartis slated for 2013 and 2015 completion, respectively.
According to architect Jacopo Mascheroni, people from the village of Brusino Arsizio, Switzerland (population 475), have been trying to get a glimpse of the house he designed for Nicoletta Messina, a financial consultant, and her family.
A study in urban planning, the Novartis campus manifests a logic and order that facilitates its day-to-day operations. Yet the grounds are neither sterile nor overtly homogeneous. Entering onto Fabrikstrasse, the main boulevard, one is immediately struck by the numerous environments for employees — landscaped piazzette, informal indoor and outdoor seating and dining areas, day care centers, even a supermarket, pharmacy, and health club — all integrated in and around the new and renovated buildings. Art is everywhere. Moreover, while the various architects are given similar briefs and physical parameters, their solutions are, of course, unique. Two blocks east of
Breaking the bounds of of Vittorio Magnago Lampugnani's master plan, Fabrikstrasse 15 by Frank Gehry stands in a surprising juxtaposition to the serene array of rectilinear buildings that dominate the Novartis campus. It is located at the geographic heart of the campus, in full view of the company's renovated 1939 Forum 1 International Headquarters building, and across the street from a refined stretch of porticoed offices and labs by Adolf Krischanitz, Rafael Moneo, Lampugnani, and Yoshio Taniguchi. The highly visible, independent site gave the architect freedom to exploit his expansive, free-spirited style. Relieved from many of the constraints binding the
At first glance the Novartis headquarters appears to be an average, though impeccable, corporate facility. Situated on the east bank of the Rhine near the borders of France and Germany in the St. Johann district of Basel, Switzerland, the 50-acre campus is sheltered by trees, old buildings, busy thoroughfares, and the river. But that impression shifts as one approaches the ethereal reception pavilion, designed by Swiss architect Marco Serra, and glimpses the diversity of building forms beyond it. A work in progress, the Novartis campus is the brainchild of Chairman of the Board Daniel Vasella, who began a collaboration with
From certain angles, the house resembles the gable-roofed cottages in the Swiss village of Riedikon, which dates back at least to the early 8th century, on the lake known as Greifensee, near Zurich. Come closer and you realize this house, with its pitched, tentlike roof, its strip window following the angled roofline, and its enclosing screen of 315 vertical spruce slats, rough sawn on the sides and CNC-milled on the front and back, is nothing like its neighbors. The 3,175-square-foot house, designed by Zurich firm Gramazio & Kohler Architecture and Urbanism, is a reinterpretation of the regional typology that, as
The Swiss have long held a reputation for creating products of impeccable precision. Tilo Herlach, Simon Hartmann, and Simon Frommenwiler, partners in the Basel-based HHF Architects, have found early international success by turning that stereotype on its head.