Herzog & de Meuron Basel Ltd.
4056 Basel, Switzerland
Phone: +41 61 385 5757
The new Multiplex Cinema is a building volume whose reflective façades project, as a multi-coloured play of light-and-shadow, the comings and goings of the cinema visitors in the lobbies – like on large cinema screens – to the outside urban space. Inside, it is structured very simply and clearly, a wide and generous stairway ramp leads, like an urban boulevard, from level -3.30 (Steinen passage) up to the street level (first floor). From there it ascends with a spiral-shaped movement to the lower cinema lobby and theatres 1-4, and then continues upward to the upper lobby and theatres 5-8.
The access boulevard is understood as an extension of the “cinema street” Steinenvorstadt, and is therefore designed as a “landscape element.” It provides outlooks to the lobbies and the first floor restaurant as well as out toward the city; with the ticket counters, the snack booths, a bar and restrooms, it also functions as a lobby. The cinema visitors leave the theatres on the side opposite the main lobby and pass the restaurant, which is placed in an attractive location, a place of seeing and of being seen.
The new Multiplex Cinema is to be located as close as possible to the “inner city.” It enables a clarification of the currently confusing situation at Heuwaage. The building integrates the different street levels in a self-understood manner and develops its interior main development from them. Additionally, the back section of the property can be left open, and after the demolition of the gas works it can be integrated into an extended park area. Thus, the Multiplex Cinema becomes a link connecting the inner city and the park area along the Birsig River, which leads to the zoological garden and continues into the Birsig valley. This is an urban approach that we have presented on a number of different occasions; its goal is to make the Birsig River tangible on its journey from the valley, through the increasingly dense urban landscape, and on to the Rhine River.
Herzog & de Meuron, 1998
Luis Fernández-Galiano (Ed.): “Arquitectura Viva Monografías. Herzog & de Meuron 1980-2000.” Vol. No. 77, Madrid, Arquitectura Viva, 05.1999.
Wilfried Wang: “Herzog & de Meuron.” 3rd adv. and rev. ed. Basel / Boston / Berlin, Birkhäuser, 1998. (= Studiopaperback).