Study contract for University Hospital Basel's new Perimeter B structure

The University Hospital Basel (UHB) Health Campus is to see further construction. The UHB wishes to prepare itself optimally for future developments, in terms of taking a holistic approach to the planning of the whole campus, so the hospital invited seven offices, including Burckhardt+Partner, to complete a study contract. Herzog & de Meuron won the competition.

The new Perimeter B structure aims to reinforce, extend and connect the campus's various open spaces on an urbanistic level in particular. The new high point is set in such a way that it integrates with the two neighboring towers to form a holistic ensemble, highlighting the Health Campus and its considerable importance with regard to the urban space. In addition, like other old and new high points in this city, it is situated on the perimeter of the former town wall. The positioning of another high point directly on the wall completes the ring that shows the city's development.

The homogeneous architectural expression causes the two sections (base and tower) of the new structure to merge. The sculptural nature of the facade skin is created by a sophisticated arrangement of horizontals and verticals. The support frame, which is visible from outside, and the displayed intermediate lesenes divide the facade, which comes across as something between tectonic plates and an abstract grid.

The base structure remains part of the campus and is therefore low. It constitutes a clear independent location, adding to the two pre-existing main entrances on the streets Spitalstrasse and Petersgraben. The sophisticated compartmentalized profile and the curved windows with multifaceted reflection reduce its apparent mass. In turn, the tower forms a clear orientation point within the campus as a whole, due to its height. At the same time, it marks the center of the ensemble and, with its basic rectangular form, constitutes the new key transition point toward the city. Each of the three clear locations (Spitalstrasse, Petersgraben and now Schanzenstrasse) provides a prelude to the public thoroughfare in the shared hospital garden.

Universitätsspital Basel

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