Herzog & de Meuron Basel Ltd.
4056 Basel, Switzerland
We decided early on to focus on vertical volume containing the maximum permitted gross floor area so that part of the lot acreage can remain undeveloped. This area will form a kind of plaza, comparable to the public spaces of a European city.
The shape of the building is substantially influenced by the angle of incidence of the local profile. Depending on where the viewer is standing, the body of the building will look more like a crystal or like an archaic type of building with a saddle roof. The ambivalent, always changing and oscillating character of the building’s identity is heightened by the sculptural effect of its glazed surface structure. The rhomboid-shaped grid on the façade is clad on all sides with a combination of convex, concave or flat panels of glass. These differing geometries generate facetted reflections, which enable viewers, both inside and outside the building, to see constantly changing pictures and almost cinematographic perspectives of Prada products, the city and themselves.
But the grid on the façade is not simply an optical illusion; it is actively incorporated in the structural engineering and in conjunction with the vertical cores of the building, it supports the ceilings. The horizontal tubing stiffens the structure and also provides more private areas for the changing rooms and the checkout on the otherwise open, light-flooded floors of the building.
The fittings with lamps and furniture for the presentation of Prada products and for visitors are newly designed especially for this location. The materials are either hyper-artificial, like resin, silicon and fiberglass, or hyper-natural, like leather, moss or porous planks of wood. Such contrasting materials prevent fixed stylistic classifications of the site, allowing both traditional and radically contemporary aspects to appear as self-evident and equal components of today’s global culture.
Herzog & de Meuron, 2003
The new building is located in a heterogeneous district of predominantly low-rise buildings.
The crystalline tower, evoking the shape of a bag or a traditional house, is essentially a logical consequence of the complex local building regulations.
The vertical access cores and horizontal pipes are linked to form a load-bearing system. In the models, the pipes create quiet zones within the fluid sequence of spaces
Models of the glass facade, moss cladding, snorkels and presentation counters in the Basel studio.
The diamond-shaped panes of glass are the facade’s external echo of the horizontal pipes within, which form separate interior spaces, each with its own functions and aesthetic qualities.
The building is striking for its height, its sculptural glass shell and the new plaza.
The diamond-shaped panes of glass provide vistas of the city as if through a lens; the displays show the merchandise. The cabinet-like spaces of the horizontal pipes create an artificial ambience.
- Prada (PRADA Japan Co.,Ltd), Tokyo, Japan
- Architect Planning: Herzog & de Meuron, Basel, Switzerland
- Landscape Design: Herzog & de Meuron, Basel, Switzerland
- Associate Architect: Takenaka Corporation, Tokyo, Japan
- Structural Engineering: Takenaka Corporation, Tokyo, Japan
- Structural Engineering: WGG Schnetzer Puskas Ingenieure AG, Basel, Switzerland
- Mechanical Engineering: Takenaka Corporation, Tokyo, Japan
- Electrical Engineering: Takenaka Corporation, Tokyo, Japan
- Specialist / Consulting
- Facade Consulting: Emmer Pfenninger Partner AG, Basel, Switzerland
- Lighting Consulting: Arup Lighting, London, UK
- Fire Protection Consulting: Takenaka Corporation, Tokyo, Japan
- Large Scale Store Law: Takenaka Corporation, Tokyo, Japan
- Building Data
- Site Area: 10'257 sqft, 953 sqm
- Gross floor area (GFA): 30'784 sqft, 2'860 sqm
- Number of levels: 7
- Footprint: 3'971 sqft, 369 sqm
- Length: 65 ft, 20 m
- Width: 72 ft, 22 m
- Height: 104 ft, 32 m
Gerhard Mack, Herzog & de Meuron: “Herzog & de Meuron 1997-2001. Das Gesamtwerk. Band 4.”
Edited by: Gerhard Mack. Basel / Boston / Berlin, Birkhäuser, 2008. Vol. No. 4
Luis Fernández-Galiano (Ed.): “Arquitectura Viva. Herzog & de Meuron 1978-2007.”
2nd rev. ed. Madrid, Arquitectura Viva, 2007
Nobuyuki Yoshida (Ed.): “Architecture and Urbanism. Herzog & de Meuron 2002-2006.”
Tokyo, A+U Publishing Co., Ltd., 08.2006.
Fernando Márquez Cecilia, Richard Levene (Eds.): “El Croquis. Herzog & de Meuron 2002-2006. Monumento e Intimidad. The Monumental and the Intimate.”
Vol. No. 129/130, Madrid, El Croquis, 2006.
“Prada Aoyama Epicenter in Tokio. Prada Aoyama Epicentre in Tokyo.”
In: Christian Schittich (Ed.). “Detail. Zeitschrift für Architektur und Baudetail. Bauen mit Glas.” Vol. No. 10, Munich, Institut für internationale Architektur-Dokumentation GmbH & Co., 10.2004. pp. 1131-1137.
Deyan Sudjic: “Cultura e Mercato. Commerce and Culture.”
In: Deyan Sudjic (Ed.). “Domus. Architettura, Design, Arte, Comunicazione. Architecture, Design, Art, Communication.” Vol. No. 861, Milan, Domus S.p.A., 07.2003. pp. 44-61.
Herzog & de Meuron: “Colmena y Escaparate. Edificio Prada en Aoyama, Tokio.”
In: Luis Fernández-Galiano (Ed.). “Arquitectura Viva. Vol. No. 91”, Madrid, Arquitectura Viva, 07.2003. pp. 46-53.
Herzog & de Meuron: “Prada Aoyama Tokyo. Herzog & de Meuron.”
Edited by: Germano Celant. 2nd ed. Milan, Progetto Prada Arte srl, 2003.
“Herzog & de Meuron. Natural History.”
Edited by: Philip Ursprung. Exh. Cat. “Herzog & de Meuron. Archaeology of the Mind. Canadian Centre for Architecture.” Montreal. 23 October 2002 – 6 April 2003. 2nd ed. Baden, Lars Müller, 2005.
Fernando Márquez Cecilia, Richard Levene (Eds.): “El Croquis. Herzog & de Meuron 1998-2002. La Naturaleza del Artificio. The Nature of Artifice.” Vol. No. 109/110, Madrid, El Croquis, 2002.