EM2N: Staatsarchiv - best architects 09



best architects 09

office/administrative buildings


Kanton Basel-Landschaft | Schweiz




Hannes Henz


The public records office is the collective memory of the political, economic and cultural life of a canton. But the location of the existing public records office in Liestal amidst smaller and larger residential buildings, cut off from the town centre by the railway line, hardly allows the public character of the institution to be expressed. We interpret the need to double the spatial programme, while remaining at the same location, as a chance to translate the existing building into a powerful, selfconfident form. By placing the public zone on the 2nd floor the visitors area is lifted out of the cramped topography. From above the railway line embankment it engages the urban district of Liestal opposite as a glazed roof zone. The outermost plane of the facade of the archive below is planted with ivy. The greening of the facade fulfils certain requirements in terms of building physics (protection against driving rain, climatic balancing layer) and signalizes the building’s special function. The double-height entrance room with the large newel stair serves as interface between the public street and the detached, quiet atmosphere of the reading floor. With its volumetry and materialisation, the space refers to the archive floors which the visitor crosses on his way up.