New cooperative housing Am Bachgraben, Basel

The "Am Bachgraben" site is strongly characterized by its location in the city's outskirts, where different urban structures intersect: rows of buildings from the 1950s to 1970s and individual large-volume buildings for industry, commerce and services, as well as intensively used green areas, such as an outdoor swimming facility, sports grounds and family gardens.

The urban development principles of this heterogeneous environment are embraced, developed further, and reinterpreted. The result is a meandering structure, which integrates into the array of existing buildings, and which establishes a clear address with its front section on Belforterstrasse. The courtyard, with an opening to the south, creates identity and intimacy at the same time.

The building is oriented toward the northern edge of the perimeter, thus enabling views to the south, east and west, which go beyond the immediate surroundings and into the wider landscape. Due to the building's precise positioning, outdoor spaces emerge, which possess a particular quality and intimacy. The structure comes across as calm and homogenous, as a design unit. Floor-to-ceiling windows alternate with closed wall sections made of prefabricated concrete elements with a warm color tone. The continuous balcony level on the south side and the individual balconies on the west and east sides make the facade look fascinating.

The design of the spacious apartments is based on the predefined space allocation plan. Sliding doors instead of fixed boundaries create flowing spaces and enable variable living situations. The fixed elements (bathrooms, kitchenette and supply closet) lend structure to the space. There are no corridors within the apartments; living rooms, dining rooms and individual rooms can be arranged and connected according to preference. The apartments' basic open-plan principle enables optimal sunlight exposure via the apartments' southward and westward orientation. The balconies generally face southward.

Wohnstadt Bau- und Verwaltungsgenossenschaft, Basel

Period of time 
2013 – 2018


Adriano Biondo