Herzog & de Meuron-designed expansion for Messe Basel due to open this April
Architects of last year’s Serpentine Pavilion Herzog & de Meuron have completed a new hall at the Messe Basel exhibition centre in Switzerland. The local architects have created a glittering new gateway to the centre with an upwardly-curving façade which was inspired by the flow of visitors into the Messe Basel. This shimmering metal exterior marks a 38,000 sq m new exhibition venue (Hall 1) and looks to revitalise Exhibition Square, a key outdoor space which can be used by the public as well as exhibition attendees.
Underneath the rolling silver façade is a wide expanse of glass to enhance transparency between interior and exterior spaces and engage with passers-by. Rising above the ground floor are two additional storeys which separate into two points to create a dynamic architectural statement which is said to provide ‘visual connections with the city towards the outside’.
Completed this month it will be a further two months until the CHF430 million (€350million) complex opens for business. Once visitors pass through the doors of Hall 1 through Exhibition Square they will be greeted by a striking atrium where functionality meets refined aesthetics. Herzog & de Meuron have ensured that the complete Messe Basel site remains compact so that users are able to easily access all areas of the complex as well as incorporating an ‘impressive architectural visiting card’.
The two uppermost levels are slightly offset from one another and punctured through the centre with a cylindrical atrium. Three exhibition halls are supported by an Event Hall, bathed in natural light which penetrates through a huge expanse of glass. City Lounge is the architectural gem of Herzog & de Meuron’s latest creation; a covered venue beneath the swooping silver façade ‘that can be likened to a railway station concourse or market hall’.
As with many new building projects sustainability has played a key role in the design process. Hall 1 has not only met the targets of SIA standard 380/4 for lighting and ventilation/air conditioning but the Minergie certification office for Basel-Stadt has created a special certificate for this building alone: BS-054 Minergie Label. There are also plans to incorporate a green roof in the future with photovoltaic panels.