Swiss design studio HHF Architects renovated three existing buildings and built a new one in the industrial area of St. Johann in Basel. By introducing only one new structure to the existing block, the architects managed to revive the neighborhood and introduce new infrastructure which improved the living conditions in the entire area.
The new building follows the general outline of the surrounding buildings, but also introduces an element of surprise and dynamic visual experience to the street front. It is enveloped in a skin made of vertical metal bars and features lots of greenery. The metal structure also acts as a trellis that can support various climbing plants.
By introducing a new staircase and an elevator in the courtyard, replacing old ones to gain floor area, the architects provided direct access to the old houses. This resulted in an overall improvement of the living conditions, which raised the desirability of the old houses and the ability to keep and lease the existing houses in the future.
Photos by Maris Mezulis