The business park to the west of Hegenheimermattweg in Allschwil has become a global hub for innovative companies in the fields of pharmaceuticals, medicine, and research. The GRID project is being developed in the immediate vicinity on land that once housed garden plots and is now the BaseLink site. It adjoins the existing Tech and Life Science Cluster and is close to sports facilities, a recreational area, and a residential neighborhood. Among other things, the BaseLink premises will also accommodate the new headquarters of the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (TPH).
GRID offers future tenants a total of approximately 60‘000 m² in a building complex with a large interior courtyard. The courtyard is the green heart of the building. The size of a soccer field, it provides ample space for rest and relaxation. The building is accessed from the courtyard, which is in turn accessed via two double-height passages opposite sides of the complex. There are four identical stairwells in the corners of the courtyard, and each floor can accommodate up to eight main tenants.
The facade is defined by a deep, gridlike structure of insitu concrete, which absorbs the vertical loads and ensures the stability of the building, reducing the need for structural elements inside the building and increasing the usable floor area. The protruding facade generates balcony-like areas that, along with awnings, provide protection from the sun. The pronounced structure of the inner facade resembles loggias, which provide access to the building and serve as fire escapes.
The vertical elements of this grid are at a slight incline. This slight deviation lends weight to the horizontals and emphasizes the scale of the building. Businesses and restaurants will occupy the ground floor. An event venue is also planned. The floor plan, loadbearing grid, and room height of the five upper floors will be flexible enough to accommodate laboratories or office spaces. The building will house 2500–3000 people and can be built in two stages.
Herzog & de Meuron, 2019