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    Residential & Commercial Development, Basel-Land

    • Location
      Birsfelden, Switzerland
    • Category
      Mixed Use
    • Floor Area
      20'000m2 (GSF)
    • Year
    • Cost
      CHF 40’000’000.-
    • Status
      Work in Progress

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    VOLPATOHATZ received a direct commission to produce a feasibility study on how to densify a 20‘000 square meter area in Basel-Landschaft. The proposal required a range of themes to be explored including context, urbanism, typologies and density, connection to existing surroundings, demographics, landscape, traffic and mobility, sustainability and ecological targets, renders and images and volume models.

    Some of the early high-rise buildings built in Basel including some long repetitive apartment blocks were owned by the pension funds of Federal Railways Cooperatives, the Post and Customs. Birsfelden is typical of high-rise developments. They were built in the 60’s mainly on the former site of Sternfeld Basel airport now relocated just over the boarder in France. People from central Switzerland came to live there creating a real community life by initiating clubs and organizations such as ‘Ländler Chilbi’, ski club and musicians playing the piano accordion. A poorly developed public transport system however was developed around this somewhat isolated area situated between the harbor and village centre. Nonetheless, there was life between apartment blocks and a small centre with several stores such as a bakery, clothing store and a kiosk. Now, all but one pet-grooming store has closed down and there are voids between the apartment blocks and spaces between them are clearly not defined. The neighborhood associations are dying out and the number of families within the community is diminishing leaving behind an older generation. By 1975, Birsfelden had a bustling occupancy of 14’000 inhabitants with living requirements for a family of 4 persons was simply a 3room apartment. Today, 40 years later, the situation has changed with only 11,000 inhabitants in Birsfelden and mainly occupied by individuals, old couples and families of non German-speaking immigrants who live in the same apartments.


    • Client: BLPK
    • Architects: VOLPATOHATZ AG, Nicole Hatz, Marco Volpato, Letizia Pastello, Andrei Bodnar
    • Urban planing : VOLPATOHATZ AG
    • Imaging: VOLPATOHATZ AG