The Riburg housing cooperative, established in 1945, is based in Basel's peaceful Hirzbrunnen district, where it is one of the largest property owners. In total, it owns 59 buildings with around 390 apartments. Many buildings are urgently in need of modernization and renovations are no longer practical, so the Riburg housing cooperative held an invitational competition in 2016, to obtain a long-term modernization strategy. Here, Burckhardt+Partner emerged as the winner. Due to the length of the perimeter and the client's stipulation that the modernization must be conducted in a tenant-friendly and gradual manner, the submitted project includes an urban, strategically processual component, as well as a specific project proposal for a first construction phase along Riburgstrasse 3 – 13 (the oldest part of the site).
For the modernization of the building fabric in the core of the housing estate, importance is attached to retaining the typical character of the district, with housing rows and courtyards in between, while adeptly upgrading and condensing it. Specifically in the first phase, encompassing Riburgstrasse 3 – 13, a total of 59 apartments are to replace the previous 36. The mixture of apartments with 2.5 to 5.5 rooms appeals to different types of tenant. In the first phase, however, the focus is on family apartments and on living space suitable for the elderly. Compact floor plans with central living and dining rooms, along with flexibly utilizable individual rooms, form the basis. In addition, the fixed elements (bathroom and supply closet) lend structure to the floor plan in the individual and communal areas. The apartments have no corridors – their basic open-plan principle enables optimal sunlight exposure by means of eastward and westward orientation. The bay windows and recessed balconies facing both the street and the courtyard make it possible to perceive these two outdoor spaces inside the apartments. While the first-floor apartments have private gardens along Riburgstrasse, communal green areas are provided in the courtyard: these meeting places make the outdoor space more attractive and help to vitalize the neighborhood.
The buildings are conceived as modules that can be combined variably and flexibly, thus taking into account the long realization period and the possibility that requirements might change during implementation.
Wohngenossenschaft Riburg, Basel
Periode of time
2017 – 2020 (1st Phase)
Architecture, general planning, execution