Conversion and reconstruction headquarters Nationale Suisse, Basel

The headquarters of Nationale Suisse (new: Helvetia Insurances) in Basel spans several buildings along the street Steinengraben. These office buildings come from different epochs and have different basic structures, some of which necessitate structural and conceptual changes to the interior design. Moreover, there are various other projects which also affect the spatial planning on the short and medium term. 

The task description for the analysis of potential encompassed an initial state analysis of the buildings, an analysis of requirements with utilization planning, the development of possible solutions for basic scenarios, and finally a feasibility analysis of these basic scenarios including costs, schedule and envisaged rents. The purpose of this analysis of potential was to prepare a basis for the company management‘s decision on the choice of basic scenario to pursue further. The analysis of potential engendered a feasibility study regarding the conversion and renovation of the head office, with the goal of implementing the insurance‘s strategic space planning with the following requirements: increased efficiency, maximization of occupant flexibility, workplace densification, and a new art concept. 

In this project, these requirements are met via new office forms, the addition of new infrastructure spaces, the upgrading of existing infrastructure spaces, the creation of communication spaces, a future-oriented sustainable and flexible concept, and the facade – which evolves from the interior to the exterior. In the context of the main building, made of stone in the 1940s, the ensemble represents this insurance company‘s values externally. On the “Architecture Boulevard” between the railway station and the Rhine, Burckhardt+Partner‘s architects created a fascinating project that confidently blends into the heterogeneous city facade. 

Nationale Suisse, Basel

Period of time 
2010 – 2014


Mark Niedermann