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Basel Nordspitze

Basel, Switzerland

Competition 1st prize 2017


Cooperative Migros Basel, Switzerland
Christoph Merian Stiftung, Basel, Switzerland


Herzog & de Meuron, Basel, Switzerland

The transformation of the former duty-free depot Dreispitz in a mixed-use urban quarter is one of Basel's largest urban developments since the start of the 21st century. As site owner, the Christoph Merian Stiftung is funding this change, together with Canton Basel City and the Cooperative Migros Basel, which has operated at this location ever since the 1930s. Nordspitze constitutes the northern end of Dreispitz, right on the edge of Basel's city centre, and is simultaneously the eastern continuation of Gundeldingen, a so-called “Gründerzeit”quarter.


The proposed urban development Nordspitze seems to be based on a contradiction: creating a dense district and large public green areas at the same time. These opposites supplement and depend on each other, resulting in a design for a very dense and urban quarter with diverse open spaces for the neighbourhood and the city.


The high density is achieved by means of three high-rise buildings and an open perimeter block consisting of individual tall townhouses that stand close together and (unlike the Gundeldingen perimeter blocks) surround a publicly accessible space. This high built density stands alongside two new green areas: one at the end of Güterstrasse (almost a typical urban park) and the other in an elevated position on the roof of Migros, as a new kind of green typology in Basel with thematic references to nature and health. Nordspitze is an open quarter with developed areas and green areas in equal proportions.

© Herzog & de Meuron
© Herzog & de Meuron
© Herzog & de Meuron
© Herzog & de Meuron
© Herzog & de Meuron

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