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House of Research, Technology, Utopia and Sustainability

BaseLink Areal, Allschwil, Switzerland

Project 2020-2025


SENN, St. Gallen, Switzerland


Herzog & de Meuron, Basel, Switzerland

Team ZPF

Emil Araktsijev, Rosanna Dottolo, Oliver Fricke, Tobias Huber, Fabian Hug, Fabio Pesavento, Nico Ros, Christian Rudin, Raphael Schär, Remo Thalmann, Sander van Baalen, André Weis, Ann-Christin Westkamp

On the BaseLink site in Allschwil near Basel, SENN, Herzog & de Meuron and ZPF Ingenieure are jointly developing an office building with approx. 10,000 m² of usable space for environmentally conscious (tech) companies. The building sets a new standard for sustainability: it repays the grey building energy and is already energy positive after around 30 years. In addition, it will be constructed from an unusual mix of natural materials.


The planned building is called HORTUS - House of Research, Technology, Utopia and Sustainability. It will pay back its construction energy within one generation, i.e. less than 30 years. On the one hand, this is achieved by keeping the total energy used low thanks to the use of unusual materials such as wood, clay and waste paper. On the other hand, the energy harvest is maximised via photovoltaics.

The HORTUS is committed to the circular economy. Every building component has a future inscribed in it before it is built - and instructions for further use should the building no longer be needed after a few generations.

© ZPF Ingenieure
© Herzog & de Meuron
© Herzog & de Meuron
© Herzog & de Meuron
© Herzog & de Meuron
Earth-timber element © ZPF Ingenieure AG
© Herzog & de Meuron
© Herzog & de Meuron

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