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boltshauser architekten beats zaha hadid + MVRDV to design basel aquarium
dec 13, 2012
boltshauser architekten beats zaha hadid + MVRDV to design basel aquarium


‘seacliff’ by boltshauser architekten winning proposal for the basel zoo ozeanium
image courtesy of boltshauser architekten

 

boltshauser architekten of switzerland has won the bid to design the basel zoo aquarium, beating out prominent architects such as
bernard tschumi, david chipperfield, MVRDV and zaha hadid. their ‘seacliff’ proposal for the ozeanium was selected for its understated architecture
and compact above-ground building space, as well as its clay and trass lime façade.

all in all, the entries submitted were at an extremely high level and represented a wide range of interesting proposed solutions for the task
and location at hand
‘, explained jury member and basel canton master builder fritz schumacher. ‘however, the restrained architectural language
chosen by the winning project ‘seacliff’ was the best match for the public image cultivated by basel zoo. under this proposal the above-ground building space on the heuwaage site is smaller than for other competition entries, thus also offering the best solution from an urban development perspective
.’

 

boltshauser architektenn basel zoo aquarium
‘seacliff’ aquarium tunnel
image courtesy of boltshauser architekten

 

 

 

boltshauser architektenn basel zoo aquarium
image courtesy of boltshauser architekten

 

 

 


image courtesy of boltshauser architekten

 

 

 

boltshauser architektenn basel zoo aquarium
site model of ‘seacliff’ in the context of its zurich location
image courtesy of boltshauser architekten

 

 

 

boltshauser architektenn basel zoo aquarium
‘seacliff’ model detail
image courtesy of boltshauser architekten

 

 



second place: ‘watergate’ by HHF architekten GmbH / burckhardt + partner AG
images courtesy of HHF architekten GmbH / burckhardt + partner AG

 

organized entirely above-ground, HHF architekten + burckhardt partner‘s second place entry ‘watergate’ is a monolithic slanting structure.
with nine floors, it was the tallest standing of the projects submitted.

 

 


third place: ‘blue cave’ by zaha hadid architects
images courtesy of zaha hadid architects

 

zaha hadid architect‘s third place proposal ‘blue cave’ was highly considered, however, the jury felt that the visitor aisles were relatively narrow
in many areas and the dynamic styling of the interior would have competed too much with the aquariums themselves.

 

 


third place: ‘blue cave’ by zaha hadid architects
images courtesy of zaha hadid architects

 

 
in february 2012, 55 teams bid to construct the basel zoo’s aquarium. each one was composed of three parts: an architectural firm,
aquarium designer and a general planner. from there, 15 were chosen to develop a proposal for the ‘ozeanium’. the competition jury
was composed of representatives from the cantonal construction and transport department, basel zoo representatives and a number of architects,
deeming ‘seacliff’ the best fit for the zoo.

construction on the new building is set to commence in 2014, and if all goes as planned, the ozeanium will open its doors to the public in 2019.

 

 here is a look at some of the other proposals:


‘fischerperspective’ by MVRDV
images courtesy of MVRDV

 

 

 

 


‘basel liegt am meer’ by david chipperfield architects
images courtesy of david chipperfield architects

 

 



‘red 75′ by bernard tschumi architects
images courtesy of bernard tschumi architects

 

 

 



‘reise ins meer’ by tatiana bilbao
images courtesy of tatiana bilbao

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