IttenBrechbühl at the State Museum for Architecture Moscow


IttenBrechbühl contributes to the exhibition "Public Architecture – Future for Europe" with the project "Primary School Lysbüchel". The exhibition is running from January 30th until May 10th 2020. The Opening is celebrated with a symposium on January 31st. At this symposium Daniel Blum will give a lecture and take part in the panel discussion.

The city of Basel, Switzerland, is rated consistently as one of the top ten of cities with the best quality of living. Its geographical position in the centre of Europe, bordering Germany and France, together with its high density of world class companies, governmental and cultural institutions – all of which are contained in a very convenient scale, are qualities that are hardly found anywhere else. These qualities also bring the biggest challenges Basel faces: A small city with the need for development and growth, but limited in its spatial development by national borders.

Against this backdrop the last remaining development areas within the city borders are under an enormous pressure to deliver a highly economic use of space, whilst maintaining and improving the highest standards regarding the quality of living. The Lysbüchel Area is one of those last
remaining land resources within the city boundaries of Basel.

IttenBrechbühl is commissioned by the City of Basel to convert a former warehouse in the very centre of this former industrial area into a public primary school. The School will not only provide the necessary educational infrastructure for the emerging neighborhood. It will also function as a
social hub and public space. By converting a warehouse into a school, the Lysbüchel area is obtaining a landmark as a witness of the place’s history and a vibrant social hub. The architectural interventions are true to the building’s history, while providing maximal permeability: The rigid structural grid of the 6-storey building is fitted with glazed walls. Facing a public plaza, large balconies form schoolyards on every level. They foster and, as it were, stage the school’s activities.

This public landmark building aims not to operate by representation but by using reminiscences of the site’s history as a backdrop for the new life that reflects and conveys the transformation of an industrial area into a living neighborhood.