herzog & de meuron has completed the restoration, preservation, and extension of ‘stadtcasino basel’ — a 19th century concert hall in switzerland. the project involved uncoupling the ‘stehlin musiksaal’ — one of the oldest and most important concert halls in europe — from the casino building to the west, and treating the institution as an autonomous venue. neighboring the ‘basel historical museum’, the main part of which is contained within a former church, the extension accommodates foyers, bars, dressing rooms, and service facilities within a new building that appears to have always been there.

herzog & de meuron restores, remodels, and extends 'stadtcasino basel' concert hall
image by roman weyeneth © stadtcasino basel | video by aaron markus graf and lukas gruntz © 2020 herzog & de meuron

 

 

internally, herzog & de meuron sought to combine neo-baroque, classicist, and contemporary elements to create a new type of architecture. the stehlin musiksaal and the hans huber-saal, both listed buildings, have been renovated with great care given to the excellent acoustic qualities of the spaces. in order to restore the musiksaal to its 1905 condition, it received a new floating wooden floor with an integrated air supply system, as well as a new podium. the hall’s historic windows and skylight have also been uncovered, while the seating was renewed.

herzog & de meuron restores, remodels, and extends 'stadtcasino basel' concert hall
image by roman weyeneth © stadtcasino basel

 

 

new foyers flanking the concert hall are arranged on two levels, accessing the parquet and the balcony. ‘we have exposed the façade facing the concert hall, mirroring it as a new outside wall,’ explains herzog & de meuron. ‘for the end walls, however, we use mirrors, a popular element of the 19th century, making the hall more spacious in combination with the mirrored ceiling. the corners of the upper foyer are detached from the side walls, so that it seems to be a floating, elliptical panel. the two levels of the foyer, with a central hole, are thus perceived as a single space.’

herzog & de meuron restores, remodels, and extends 'stadtcasino basel' concert hall
image © ruedi walti

 

 

to provide as much space as possible for audiences, the design team added loggia-like recesses to the expansive staircases — allowing people to linger during intermission. meanwhile, the venue’s original brocade wallpaper was reproduced to line the stairwells. ‘the stadtcasino is a new building, a remodeled building, and a renovated building all in one,’ herzog & de meuron continues. ‘the stehlin musiksaal of 1876 is famous for its extra-ordinary acoustics and is the best concert hall for a discerning listening experience — not only in switzerland but far beyond! the hall has now been complemented by foyers and staircases as well as unusual sequences of spaces and combinations for the enjoyment of visitors throughout the building.’

 

stadtcasino basel re-opened to the public on august 22, 2020.

herzog & de meuron restores, remodels, and extends 'stadtcasino basel' concert hall
image © ruedi walti

herzog & de meuron restores, remodels, and extends 'stadtcasino basel' concert hall
image © ruedi walti

herzog & de meuron restores, remodels, and extends 'stadtcasino basel' concert hall
image by roman weyeneth © stadtcasino basel

herzog & de meuron restores, remodels, and extends 'stadtcasino basel' concert hall
image by roman weyeneth © stadtcasino basel

herzog & de meuron restores, remodels, and extends 'stadtcasino basel' concert hall
image © ruedi walti

herzog & de meuron restores, remodels, and extends 'stadtcasino basel' concert hall
image by roman weyeneth © stadtcasino basel

herzog & de meuron restores, remodels, and extends 'stadtcasino basel' concert hall
image by roman weyeneth © stadtcasino basel

herzog & de meuron restores, remodels, and extends 'stadtcasino basel' concert hall
image by roman weyeneth © stadtcasino basel

herzog & de meuron restores, remodels, and extends 'stadtcasino basel' concert hall
image © ruedi walti

herzog & de meuron restores, remodels, and extends 'stadtcasino basel' concert hall
image by roman weyeneth © stadtcasino basel

herzog & de meuron restores, remodels, and extends 'stadtcasino basel' concert hall
image by roman weyeneth © stadtcasino basel

herzog & de meuron restores, remodels, and extends 'stadtcasino basel' concert hall
image © ruedi walti

herzog & de meuron restores, remodels, and extends 'stadtcasino basel' concert hall
image by roman weyeneth © stadtcasino basel

herzog & de meuron restores, remodels, and extends 'stadtcasino basel' concert hall
image © ruedi walti

 

 

project info:

 

herzog & de meuron team —
partners: jacques herzog, pierre de meuron, andreas fries (partner in charge)
project team: thorsten kemper (associate, project manager), michael schmidt (associate, project manager), stephan weber (project architect), inga federe (project architect), roman aebi (workshop), caetano braga da costa de bragança, alessia catellani, axel chevroulet, federica von euw, noël fäh, judith funke, joanna karolina gajda, luis gisler, elena klinnert, oxana krause, sophia landsherr, marcin ernest mejsak, yolanda de rueda, juan sala, eduardo salgado mordt, günter schwob (workshop), francisca soares de moura, matthias stauch, florian stroh, ana miruna tutoveanu, daniel wilson

 

client: casino-gesellschaft basel, switzerland

 

planning —
project architect: herzog & de meuron, basel, switzerland
MEP engineering: waldhauser+hermann AG, münchenstein, switzerland
structural engineering: a. aegerter & dr. o. bosshardt AG, basel, switzerland
HVAC engineering: waldhauser+hermann AG, münchenstein, switzerland
executive architect: ritter giger schmid architekten sia AG, basel, switzerland
electrical engineering: pro engineering AG, basel, switzerland
plumbing engineering: suiselectra ingenieurunternehmung AG, basel, switzerland
project management: glator AG, birsfelden, switzerland

 

specialist / consulting —
acoustic: müller-BBM GmbH, planegg; germany
lighting: reflexion AG, zürich, switzerland
façade: buri mueller partner GmbH, burgdorf, switzerland
audio visual: auviso audio visual solutions AG, muttenz, switzerland
façade: pirmin jung ingenieure AG, rain, switzerland
fire protection: gruner AG brandschutz, basel, switzerland
surveyor: a. aegerter & dr. o. bosshardt AG, basel, switzerland
geotechnic: geotechnisches institut AG basel, basel, switzerland

 

building data —
gross floor area (GFA): 91,363 sqft / 8,488 sqm
GFA above ground: 61,300 sqft / 5,695 sqm
GFA below ground: 30,063 sqft / 2,793 sqm
number of levels: 7
footprint: 20,451 sqft / 1,900 sqm
building dimensions: length: 180 ft / 55 m; width: 118 ft / 36 m; height: 72 ft / 22 m
gross volume (GV): 1,657,777 cbft / 46,943 cbm
façade surface: 29,062 sqft / 2,700 sqm