Herzog & de Meuron’s shopping center development in Basel will be topped with a middle school

Image courtesy of Herzog & de Meuron.
Image courtesy of Herzog & de Meuron.

After winning the competition for a massive urban redevelopment project in their hometown of Basel in 2017, Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron now released updated material that shows a more refined and detailed concept. 

The Dreispitz Nord scheme seeks to transform a former customs depot into a mixed-use urban district, expanding the reach of downtown Basel.

Image courtesy of Herzog & de Meuron.

“The urban proposal for Dreispitz Nord is based on what would seem to be the paradoxical aim of developing and increasing density, while simultaneously creating large, public green spaces,” explains a statement put out by the architects. 

“Density is achieved by three high-rise towers and an open perimeter block of individual, tightly spaced mid-rise buildings. This block frames a publicly accessible park in contrast to the perimeter blocks in Gundeldingen with their primarily private inner courtyards.”

Image courtesy of Herzog & de Meuron.

One of the key features to achieve useful densification is a middle school for 600 students that will sit on top of the development’s central shopping center, a move that Basel city authorities in collaboration with the client and developers announced last month: “The location of the school and a multipurpose gymnasium on the elevated Adele Duttweiler Field is ideal. In the evenings the gymnasium and playing fields can be used by sports clubs and associations, and for many other activities as well. The school’s athletic and recreation areas will occupy only part of the entire field. Gardens and other outdoor areas will be accessible to the residents of Gundeldingen and public at all times.”

The zoning plan is scheduled to be presented to the cantonal legislative in mid-2021.

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