Herzog & de Meuron Basel Ltd.
4056 Basel, Switzerland
Close to the Swiss-German border, in an area of three-storey apartment buildings of the fifties and free-standing houses of the turn of the century, a photographic studio was added to an existing two-storey house. Extending along the length of the back garden, the studio and the connecting corridor form two external spaces to the street, a car park and a garden. The east facing loggia contains offices and at its southern end forms a portico to the car park.
The pitched roof and trapezoid plan together form an internal space, with a perspective that effects and reiterates the programme’s theme. A pair of reinforced concrete beams support the roof structure and the north facing lights, recalling those of Le Corbusier at La Tourette (1957). The office wing is clad with a horizontal timber boarding. The studio’s east and south façades are clad with grained plywood boards. The west façade has bitumen sheets across the whole surface. Special hardwood corner details accentuate the pointedness of the building while covering the edges of the plywood sheets. The graphic treatment of the fence bearing the company’s name indicates an interest in the visualization of the building’s use.
Herzog & de Meuron, 1997
The photo studio is located in the garden of a villa in the border region between Weil am Rhein and Basel, near the highway and amidst a very versatile development area with backyards, small gardens, industrial buildings, single-family homes and apartment
The single-story hall receives light through cuboids placed at an angle on the roof; at first, faced with gold leaf, they were supposed to rise above the surrounding hodgepodge of buildings.
The design reacts to the heterogeneous environment and connects the separate building types in a way similar to the Riehen pool.
The office tract quotes the wooden building style of regional kindergartens.
The photo hall is placed into the garden like a folded-up box whose strangeness in enhanced by the skyward facing light cubes and the industrial tarpaper strips of the facade facing.
The large lighting volumes on the slightly slanted shed roof form a separate roof landscape.
The wood and glass elements of the construction of the skylights folded up and seen from below on the roof construction and longitudinal section of the ceiling and roof skylight.
The perspective of the continuing photo hall narrows down into a socalled photo-egg and can be divided up into three separate workspaces with movable partitioning walls. Depending on the lighting requirements, one can choose between natural or artificial light or a combination of both.
The amount of light supplied by the roof cubes can be regulated.
The light, wood-glass tract connects the existing two-story villa and the photo hall. The kitchen space is installed container-like as a box, a principle that is taken up again in the Therwil house and other buildings.
Assembly of the photo studio. The hall is erected as a simple shed construction above the concrete basement and is lined with drywall panels, thermal insulation, Atex boards and plywood boards, as well as elastomer sheeting.
Details of the facade facing made of industrial plywood and roof paper.
- Construction Management: Herzog & de Meuron Basel Ltd., Basel, Switzerland
- Structural Engineering: Helmut Pauli, Ingenieurbüro Schaub, Basel, Switzerland
- Building Data
- Site Area: 20'451 sqft, 1'900 sqm
- Gross floor area (GFA): 6'458 sqft, 600 sqm
- Footprint: 4'951 sqft, 460 sqm
- Gross volume (GV): 105'944 cbft, 3'000 cbm
Luis Fernández-Galiano (Ed.): “Arquitectura Viva. Herzog & de Meuron 1978-2007.” 2nd rev. ed. Madrid, Arquitectura Viva, 2007.
Fernando Márquez Cecilia, Richard Levene (Eds.): “El Croquis. Herzog & de Meuron 1981-2000. Between the Face and the Landscape. The Cunning of Cosmetics. Entre el Rostro y el Paisaje. La Astucia de la Cosmética.” 2nd adv. and rev. ed. Vol. No. 60+84, Madrid, El Croquis, 2005.
Wilfried Wang: “Herzog & de Meuron.” 3rd adv. and rev. ed. Basel / Boston / Berlin, Birkhäuser, 1998. (= Studiopaperback).
Gerhard Mack, Herzog & de Meuron: “Herzog & de Meuron 1978-1988. Das Gesamtwerk. Band 1. The Complete Works. Volume 1.” Edited by: Gerhard Mack. Basel / Boston / Berlin, Birkhäuser, 1997. Vol. No. 1.
Martin Steinmann: “Fabrikbauten. Bâtiments industriels. Edifici industriali. Factory Buildings.” In: Schweizerische Verkehrszentrale (Ed.). “Schweiz. Suisse. Svizzera. Svizra. Switzerland. Monatszeitschrift der Schweizerischen Verkehrszentrale und des öffentlichen Verkehrs. Neuere Architektur.” Vol. No. 1, 1988. pp. 32-41.
Jacques Herzog, Pierre de Meuron: “Fotostudio. Atelier d’un Photographe.” In: Verband freierwerbender Schweizer Architekten. Fédération Suisse des Architectes Indépendants FSAI (Ed.). “Archithese. Zeitschrift und Schriftenreihe für Architektur und Kunst. Revue thématique d’Architecture et d’Art. Zweckarchitektur.” Vol. No. 3, Niederteufen, Arthur Niggli, 05.1983. pp. 15-18.