Competition 1st prize 2017
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.
The Migros site shall be converted from a suburban shopping centre into an inner-city anchor in the middle of the quarter. Migros will now be consolidated in a single building, into which OBI and an above-ground parking facility are integrated. Shops, cafes and restaurants will now line the extended Güterstrasse in an urban arcade. Migros and the mall open out towards the city and the Christoph Merian site, characterising and vitalising the new urban quarter. The new above-ground Migros parking facility is directly connected to the mall, Migros, OBI, the garden centre and Gottlieb Duttweiler Field on the roof of Migros. It will be the first building on Münchensteinerstrasse. As customer requirements and mobility behaviour are changing significantly, the number of necessary customer parking spaces (currently 500) might decrease in future. The above-ground parking facility would then be easy to transform, compared to an expensive underground car park.
Urban densification is incorporated via new forms of dwelling in the townhouses above the arcade. This gives rise to a holistic diverse range of possible uses for various social strata, developed and initiated by Migros itself and perhaps also by third parties. There are essentially two types of building: Firstly, townhouses with heights of up to 30 m, which are mainly residential buildings with the character of a cooperative. Secondly, three high-rise buildings, which, as a group, will lend Nordspitze and all of Dreispitz a distinctive identity and help to shape Basel's city skyline. They stand on columns and their ground floors communicate with the surrounding urban space. The size and height of the buildings and their uses can be defined during the respective planning periods and depending on the investment unit, but their location and relationship with the urban space are fixed. The high-rise buildings function as anchors and points of reference, forming gateway situations for the new urban quarter. Strict architectural rules shall bind the townhouses and the high-rise buildings together, causing them to interrelate, without creating monotony.