clinic for neurorehabilitation and paraplegiology
Rehab AG, Basel, Switzerland
Herzog & de Meuron, Basel, Switzerland
Hans-Peter Frei, Helmuth Pauli
Auszeichnung Guter Bauten Kanton Basel-Landschaft Kanton Basel-Stadt 2002
This rehabilitation clinic is in the westernmost part of Basel, right on the French border. The building has to meet complex requirements, as the individual needs of paraplegics and brain injury sufferers must be satisfied, as well as the therapeutic prerequisites for their successful rehabilitation. Treatment rooms, wards and recovery rooms are distributed across three floors.
Wood dominates the appearance, while concrete and steel carry the loads. The way the building is used varies from floor to floor, so the grid of solid steel columns varies accordingly and as the span width changes, so does the thickness of the flat concrete slabs. The roof of the therapy pool, coated with a black plastic skin, looks like a massive boulder in the middle of a spatial continuum. Its concrete shell is penetrated by round openings, resembling a starry sky in the semi-darkness of the pool room.
Measuring 120 x 90 m, the building has no need for dilatation joints. The support structure is designed to cope with the possible addition of another storey extending across the entire building. The flat slabs rest on a dynamic grid of solid steel columns, so the slab thickness can be adapted to the span width. The therapy pool facility is a polygonal distorted pyramid, consisting of a concrete folded-plate structure with staggered round perforations. While the balcony slabs, made from wooden elements, rest on overhanging steel beams, the thoroughfare in the entrance courtyard is spanned by a pre-stressed ribbed slab that is over 23 m long.