Herzog & de Meuron
Project
2007-2010
Realization
2009-2013

Through its rapid expansion, Actelion is playing a pivotal role in the development and transformation of the old industrial area in Allschwil, on the western fringes of Basel, into an innovative life science park – the “I-Parc”. The new laboratory and office facility complements the two existing Actelion buildings, the Business Center by Herzog & de Meuron (2005-10) and the large Allschwil Innovation Center.

With its simple, forthright outward expression of function, the new Actelion Research and Laboratory building clearly takes its cue from modernist industrial architecture.

The restrained use of architectural detail also generates a counterpoint to the Business Center, whose exuberant, idiosyncratic geometry symbolizes and promotes the diverse interactions between Actelion’s employees and visitors. While the Business Center is a one-off project, the Actelion Research and Laboratory was developed as a prototype for a possible Actelion standard.

The elongated massing of the Actelion Research and Laboratory building is a product of the stepped profile necessitated by the planning and zoning regulations, the required set-backs from the neighbouring land and the slight offset between the two original plots. The volume is divided horizontally by a sequence of floor slabs cantilevered beyond the façades. The undulating cross-sectional shape of the floor slabs reflects the moment distribution from the horizontal and vertical forces caused by raking back the structure. The balcony slabs, which project to various widths beyond the façade, provide shade against the overhead sun. The expansive, full-height glazing allows the interior to merge with the outdoor environment.

Communication zones are located on all levels at either end of the building. Voluminous helical stairs penetrate the floor slabs to afford views through and encourage communication and interaction between the different departments. The sculptural quality of these winding stairs contrasts with the simplicity and restraint of the remaining architecture.
Herzog & de Meuron, 2010

318_CO_1111_214_MBU
318_CO_1111_214_MBU
318_CP_1309_704_IB_H
318_CP_1309_704_IB_H
318_CP_1309_715_IB_H
318_CP_1309_715_IB_H
318_CP_1309_730_IB_H
318_CP_1309_730_IB_H
318_CP_1309_717_IB_H
318_CP_1309_717_IB_H
318_CP_1309_715_IB_H
318_CP_1309_715_IB_H
318_CP_1309_722_IB_H
318_CP_1309_722_IB_H
318_CP_1309_705_IB_H
318_CP_1309_705_IB_H
318_CP_1309_706_IB_H
318_CP_1309_706_IB_H

Process

Two separate volumes become a single building with setbacks in keeping with the lighting profile.

318_MO_0809_099_033-MOC
318_MO_0809_099_033-MOC
318_MO_0809_024_008-MOC
318_MO_0809_024_008-MOC
318_MO_0809_039_013-MOC
318_MO_0809_039_013-MOC
318_MO_0809_087_029-MOC
318_MO_0809_087_029-MOC
318_DR_0910_504_FOOTPRINT-ALL_K
318_DR_0910_504_FOOTPRINT-ALL_K

Two spiral stairwells, each different in shape, provide zones of communication at either end of the building.

318_CI_0804_010
318_CI_0804_010
318_CO_0910_151
318_CO_0910_151
318_MU_1007_007
318_MU_1007_007
318_CO_1007_035
318_CO_1007_035
318_CO_1011_0187
318_CO_1011_0187
318_CO_1005_128
318_CO_1005_128
318_CO_1004_113
318_CO_1004_113

Steel elements integrated into waves of concrete allow for a vertical load transfer for large cantilevers.

318_CI_0805_046
318_CI_0805_046
318_CI_0809_011
318_CI_0809_011
318_EV_0906_015
318_EV_0906_015
318_MU_0902_204
318_MU_0902_204
318_CO_1003_115
318_CO_1003_115
318_CO_1007_128
318_CO_1007_128
318_MU_0903_096_III
318_MU_0903_096_III
318_CO_1007_135
318_CO_1007_135

Steel elements integrated into waves of concrete allow for a vertical load transfer for large cantilevers.

318_CP_1309_729_IB_H
318_CP_1309_729_IB_H
318_CP_1309_730_IB_H
318_CP_1309_730_IB_H
318_CP_1309_722_IB_H
318_CP_1309_722_IB_H
318_CP_1309_705_IB_H
318_CP_1309_705_IB_H
318_CP_1309_704_IB_H
318_CP_1309_704_IB_H
318_CP_1309_706_IB_H
318_CP_1309_706_IB_H
318_CP_1309_726_IB_H
318_CP_1309_726_IB_H

Drawings

318_DR_100801_001_Site-Plan
318_DR_100801_001_Site-Plan
318_DR_130702_001_LV0
318_DR_130702_001_LV0
318_DR_130702_002_LV2
318_DR_130702_002_LV2
318_DR_130702_003_LV3
318_DR_130702_003_LV3
318_DR_130702_004_LV5
318_DR_130702_004_LV5
318_DR_130702_005_LV6
318_DR_130702_005_LV6
318_DR_130702_006_S1_AA
318_DR_130702_006_S1_AA
318_DR_130702_007_S2_BB
318_DR_130702_007_S2_BB
318_DR_130702_008_S3_CC
318_DR_130702_008_S3_CC
318_DR_130702_009_S4_DD
318_DR_130702_009_S4_DD
318_DR_130702_010_S5_EE
318_DR_130702_010_S5_EE

Team

Facts

Client
Actelion Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Allschwil, Switzerland
Planning
Architect Planning : Herzog & de Meuron Basel Ltd., Basel, Switzerland
General Planning: Gruner AG, Basel, Switzerland
Construction Management: Gruner AG, Basel, Switzerland
Structural Engineering: Gruner AG, Basel, Switzerland
HVAC Engineering: Gruneko AG, Basel, Switzerland
Electrical Engineering: Scherler AG Beratende Ingenieure, Basel, Switzerland
Plumbing Engineering: Gruneko AG, Basel, Switzerland
Mechanical Engineering: TRANSSOLAR Energietechnik GmbH, Stuttgart, Germany
Mechanical Engineering: Gruneko AG, Basel, Switzerland
Landscape Design: Tita Giese, Düsseldorf, Germany
Specialist / Consulting
Acoustic Consulting: Gruner AG, Basel, Switzerland
Building Physics Consulting: Gruner AG, Basel, Switzerland
Facade Consulting: PPEngineering, Basel, Switzerland
Fire Protection Consulting: Gruner AG, Basel, Switzerland
Geometric Consulting: Gruner AG Basel, Switzerland
Laboratory Planning: Gruneko AG, Basel, Switzerland
Laboratory Planning: Gruner AG, Basel, Switzerland
Lighting Consulting: Mati AG Lichtplanung, Adliswil, Switzerland
Traffic Planning : Gruner AG, Basel, Switzerland
Safety Consulting: Gruner AG, Basel, Switzerland
Building Data
Site Area: 64'583 sqft, 6'000 sqm
Gross floor area (GFA): 400'417 sqft, 37'200 sqm
GFA above ground: 242'187 sqft, 22'500 sqm
GFA below ground: 158'229 sqft, 14'700 sqm
Footprint: 43'055 sqft, 4'000 sqm
Length: 442 ft, 135 m
Width: 98 ft, 30 m
Height: 72 ft, 22 m
Gross volume (GV): 4'855'771 cbft, 137'500 cbm
Facade surface: 65'121 sqft, 6'050 sqm
Links
www.actelion.com

Bibliography

Gerhard Mack, Herzog & de Meuron: “Herzog & de Meuron 2005-2007. The Complete Works. Volume 6.” Edited by: Gerhard Mack. Basel, Birkhäuser, 2018.

Location