Oliver Brandenberger: New replacement apartment house on Arlesheimerstrasse - best architects 18

Oliver Brandenberger

New replacement apartment house on Arlesheimerstrasse

best architects 18

multi-family homes


Basel / Switzerland


Basile Bornand


The new apartment house (with two duplexes and two single-storey apartments) in the Basel district of Gundeldingen needed to be moved up to the building line to create a clear street front and make the edge of the city block perceptible, unlike the adjacent building, which is set back from the street. The architect accentuated this offset by giving the new building front a projecting bay, still in conformance with the building code. He folded it out over the entire building height to create a relationship between the variously aligned façades. Horizontal joint lines divide the street front and reveal the three stages of concrete pouring. These façade fields also map the stacking of the two different apartment typologies. The legibility of the internal arrangement on the outside of the building is repeated in the glazed courtyard side by means of balconies sized and bent in different ways. The layout of the apartments is organised around the access and functional cores. Optional sliding and hidden doors along with the elimination of baseboards along the long hallways open up the spaces, allowing for one single »flowing space« from the street to the courtyard side. The new building has found a smart solution to the challenge of its urban site by implementing a »reinterpretation of the projecting pavilion«. It blends in gently with the perimeter block development but is at the same time experienced as an independent structure with a subtle and appealing elegance.