Herzog & de Meuron
Project
2007-2012
Realization
2013-2014

The Swiss municipality of Riehen, bordering the city of Basel, lies in the gently widening valley of the River Wiese, near to its confluence with the Rhine. For decades, the local population has yearned for a new public swimming pool to replace the obsolescent baths by the riverbank, with various attempts having failed. After winning a design competition in 1979 and several unrealised projects in the following years, Herzog & de Meuron again started to ponder the options for a new bathing facility. The changed perspectives brought by the intervening years prompted the idea of abandoning the conventional pool concept with its mechanical and chemical water treatment systems in favour of a pool closer to a natural condition with biological filtration. This approach was publicly discussed by the citizens of Riehen and officially approved by a municipal vote. The standard geometric swimming pool transforms into a bathing lake where the technical systems and machine rooms vanish, to be substituted by planted filtering cascades. This concept led to the notion of modelling the natural pool on the local “Badi”, Basel’s traditional wooden Rhine-side baths, which combine a lively atmosphere with a timeless appearance.

The site is screened on two sides by an enclosing timber wall: on the north towards the road and on to the west from adjoining private properties. The southern perimeter facing the river, on the other hand, is open, bounded only by a green hedge. On the eastern front, a timber fence merges into the amenities building, which incorporates the entrance and supporting facilities, while the wall along the northern and western boundaries offers a 200 m long sheltered solarium with recliners. Yet, from all parts of the facility, attention is focused on the bathing pond at the centre of the site. The biological water treatment basins – the non-mechanical “heart” of the baths – are embedded in the sloping landscape on the opposite side of the road. Together with various leisure facilities provided here, they form a recreational area open all year round to the municipal population. In terms of ecological cleaning capacity, the baths are designed to accommodate 2 000 bathers per day.
Herzog & de Meuron, 2014

319_CP_140619_0727_IB_2968_H
319_CP_140619_0727_IB_2968_H
319_CP_140619_1126_IB_3265_H
319_CP_140619_1126_IB_3265_H
319_CP_140619_1023_IB_3665_H
319_CP_140619_1023_IB_3665_H
319_CP_140619_0784_IB_3090_H
319_CP_140619_0784_IB_3090_H
319_CP_140614_002_MB_H
319_CP_140614_002_MB_H
319_CP_140614_006_MB_H
319_CP_140614_006_MB_H
319_CP_140614_004_MB_H
319_CP_140614_004_MB_H
319_CP_140619_1103_IB_3834_H
319_CP_140619_1103_IB_3834_H
319_CO_130827_004
319_CO_130827_004
319_CO_130827_001
319_CO_130827_001

Drawings

319_DR_1409_GR_E_C
319_DR_1409_GR_E_C
319_DR_1409_S1_E
319_DR_1409_S1_E
319_DR_1409_S2_E
319_DR_1409_S2_E
319_DR_1409_Detailschnitt_E_C
319_DR_1409_Detailschnitt_E_C
319_DR_1409_Filteranlage_E_C
319_DR_1409_Filteranlage_E_C
319_DT_1111_Stützsparren_5
319_DT_1111_Stützsparren_5
319_DT_1111_Sockel-Zaun
319_DT_1111_Sockel-Zaun

Team

Facts

Client
Gemeindeverwaltung Riehen, Riehen, Switzerland
Planning
Archtiect Planning: Herzog & de Meuron Basel Ltd., Basel, Switzerland
Partner Architect: Rapp Arcoplan AB, Basel, Switzerland
General Planning: Rapp Arcoplan AB, Basel, Switzerland
Cost Consultant: Rapp Arcoplan AB, Basel, Switzerland
Electrical Engineering: Eplan, Basel, Switzerland
HVAC Engineering: Stokar + Partner AG, Basel, Switzerland
Landscape Design: Fahrni und Breitenfeld, Basel, Switzerland
Landscape Design: Wasserwerkstatt, Bamberg, Germany
Plumbing Engineering: Locher Schwittay Gebäudetechnik GmbH, Basel, Switzerland
Structural Engineering: Ulmann & Kunz Bauingenieur AG, Basel, Switzerland
Structural Engineering: Pirmin Jung, Rain, Switzerland
Natural Pool: Wasserwerkstatt Planungsbüro für Badegewässer, Bamberg, Germany
Timber Work: Pirmin Jung, Rain, Switzerland
Specialist / Consulting
Building Physics Consulting: Ehrsam und Partner, Basel, Switzerland
Civil Engineering: Gemeinde Riehen, Riehen, Switzerland
Geometric Consulting: Jermann Ingenieure & Geometer AG, Pratteln, Switzerland
Geotechnic Consulting: Dr. von Moos AG, Zurich, Switzerland
Building Data
Site Area: 164'074 sqft, 15'243 sqm
Gross floor area (GFA): 3'487 sqft, 324 sqm
Number of levels: 1
Footprint: 3'487 sqft, 324 sqm
Gross volume (GV): 39'799 cbft, 1'127 cbm
Facade surface: 4'305 sqft, 400 sqm
Links
www.naturbadriehen.ch

Bibliography

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

Luis Fernández-Galiano (Ed.): “Arquitectura Viva Monografias. Herzog & de Meuron 2013-2017.” Vol. No. 191-192, Madrid, Arquitectura Viva SL, 12.2016.

Location