We recently featured BIG's dramatic NY pyramid, but the busy firm just notified us of yet another awesome project that they're getting started on in Switzerland. The plan is to transform a 1960s warehouse into a multifunctional space dedicated to the intersection of art, commerce, working, and living. Called, Transitlager, the restored building is part of a larger redevelopment of Basel’s upcoming Dreispitz neighborhood, which is becoming an attractive and inviting urban quarter. The industrial area is characterized by hard lines and the renovated and extended warehouse will reflect its origins with a modern twist on those geometries. BIG will update the existing warehouse and add an extension on top of it, which will include a green roof, courtyard gardens, daylighting and views.
BIG was one of several invited firms to propose concepts for the transformation of the warehouse and their winning proposal goes beyond merely renovating the old structure. BIG’s Transitlager scheme modifies the existing warehouse for commercial space and the surrounding public areas and then tops it all off with a three level residential programmatic area to create a mixed-use hybrid of activity. The zig-zag rooftop volume is designed to increase views and daylighting into the residential spaces and provide private courtyard space large enough for a yard.
“We propose a transformation of the Transitlager that builds on the industrial logic of the existing building and of the surrounding area. The extension doubles the size of the Transitlager and becomes an opposite twin – based on the same structure, but with a different geometry. The combined building becomes a spectrum of optimal conditions: From open and flexible plans to tailor made units, public programs to private residences, vibrant urban space to peaceful green gardens and from cool industrial to warm and refined, ” explains Andreas Klok Pedersen, BIG Partner.
The folded geometry blends in with the look and feel of the surrounding neighborhood, but updates it in a way to become more functional and pleasing for residents and visitors. Materials and finishes inside are designed to be sparse and appeal to both artists and businesses in a functional sense as well as be luxurious. The 1960s era structure will offer flexible open plans and extensive use of concrete.
“The stacking of two complimentary structures – one on top of the other – has generated a new take on the typology of the communal courtyard” explains Bjarke Ingels. “Where the typical residential courtyard finds itself incarcerated by walls of program, the roofyards of the Transitlager combine the tranquility and communal space of the courtyard with the sunlight and panoramic views of the penthouse. A penthouse for the people.”
Partner in Charge: Bjarke Ingels, Andreas Klok Pedersen
Project Leader: Jakob Henke
Team: Gul Ertekin, Ioannis Gio, Ricardo Palma, Alexandra Gustaffson, Bara Srpkova, Marcelina Kolasinska, Ryohei Koike
Images © BIG