Berrel Berrel Kräutler Architekten
Wasserreservoir Bruderholz, Basel
best architects 13 in Gold
Despite the enormous built volume of the water reservoir, only one storey of the operations building is visible above ground. Due to its central location in the midst of an old park, the building plays a prominent role in this part of the public space. Like a flat rock table, its crystalline structure rises up from the grass-covered embankment as if it were a part of the landscape. Turf-covered steps lead up the slight incline and offer places to sit and linger. The roof forms an observation deck for looking out over the park. The operations building thus blends in seamlessly with the park while serving a useful function for park visitors. The structure has a double-layered shell, enabling the external skin to be liberated from the box form dictated by technical specifications. This outer layer takes the form of a sculptural polished concrete shell made of perforated precast elements that contrast with the warm hues of the copper front. The interim spaces between concrete facade and inner core are backfilled with planting substrate so that the stony volume will gradually sprout wild flowers, just like an old stone wall.