BRH-Architekten / Inès & Fabian Neuhaus: Kollegienhaus at the University of Basel, assembly hall renovation - best architects 23

BRH-Architekten / Inès & Fabian Neuhaus

Kollegienhaus at the University of Basel, assembly hall renovation

best architects 23

interior work

Place

Basel, Switzerland

Photos

Roman Weyeneth

Description

The refurbished assembly hall is a festive and distinguished setting. The plan to replace the audio-visual equipment gave the initial impulse for transforming the venue from a rather stiff-looking, outdated, muffled room into an inspiring, technically advanced auditorium with great acoustics. Cleared of add-ons that muted the acoustic space, the hall was reshaped through precise sculptural interventions into its geometry to create a well-tuned architectural sound box. The rigid stylistic vocabulary of the architecture was livened up to achieve an elegant, more classical environment refined with elaborate details. The natural acoustics of the auditorium now carry and support the spoken word as well as music to provide excellent listening conditions. In conceiving a new spatial design, reference was made to the initial appearance of the hall. The podium and panelling, for example, adapt materials from the original design. The distinctive wooden ceiling was cleared and completed with sculptural details for more definition. To support a wider range of uses, including concerts and other festive events, a larger podium was created. The lighting covers technical as well as decorative functions, with pendant luminaires that echo the original lamps providing elegant mood light. The colour scheme is subtle yet festive. The slightly toned-down white of the wall surfaces is in tune with the wood of the floor, the podium and the ceiling as well as the original windows and the new golden-beige curtains.