Herzog & de Meuron

The Basel School of Business (HSW), one of the largest business schools in Switzerland, will move to the northern part of the Dreispitzareal. Like the Academy of Art and Design (HGK), the HSW headquarters will substantially impact the burgeoning neighborhood in Münchenstein. The HSW is a public building and looks like one. Despite conspicuously cantilevered concrete floor slabs, it is perceived as a transparent glass building. The repetitive, linear structure resembles a finely articulated skeleton and consists of prefabricated concrete supports, of the kind seen elsewhere in the Dreispitzareal. The building runs from west to east on the elongated plot. The end of the building facing east affords a view of Münchensteinerstrasse. It is still no man’s land, but the area will be filled with lively urban life over the next few years. At the other end of the building, the façade faces the vibrant Gundeldingen neighborhood.

The public functions are accommodated in the raised ground floor, the piano nobile. In the Dreispitz neighborhood, where trade and industry still dominate, this elevated level is more apt for vitalization than the street-level. There is currently very little everyday activity on the long sides of the building. Expansive terraces with large freestanding staircases at the two ends integrate the building into the urban and social fabric of the neighborhood and animate life on the street. The terraces offer both students and the public a place to meet and congregate. Inside and outside flow into each other. The cafeteria and the restaurant open onto the terrace. These public areas will be additionally enlivened with bars, pop-up stores, and markets.

The interior features a high concourse that provides orientation, connects the various uses of the HSW, and provides space for spontaneous meetings, exhibitions of semester studies, or official events such as graduation ceremonies – an agora for the institution. The adjoining, spacious terraces extend the meeting space of the concourse into the outdoors. The classrooms and public areas are grouped around the large central concourse from the ground floor to the third floor. The library also adjoins the concourse. The third and fourth floors accommodate the administration and institutes.
Herzog & de Meuron, 2019