repurposed concrete components assemble housing units' facades in basel
Aug 30, 2023
International architectural studio PARABASE completes ELEMENTA, a radical reuse project for affordable housing in Switzerland. The Walkeweg site is one of the canton’s larger development areas and is located in the immediate vicinity of the Dreispitz, Wolf, and Irène Zurkinden-Platz sites. The complex, as part of the 1000+ housing program, hosts affordable apartments for around 650 people, generous natural areas, and an elementary school including a kindergarten. In the first stage, two cooperatives take over part of the site in building rights building around 150 new apartments by 2025. Subsequently, the canton will build approximately 120 affordable apartments, urban green spaces, and an integrated migration center with an additional 44 apartments in its own investment by 2026. For this purpose, the canton has held an open project competition with the planning team of PARABASE, Monotti Ingegneri Consulenti SA, and USUS Landscape Architecture winning the first prize with their project ELEMENTA. The winning project convinces the interdisciplinary jury in particular with its strong aesthetics, created by the consistent use of reused concrete building components.
all images courtesy of PARABASE
The design team aims for a sustainable approach for the design of the housing complex. The residential buildings, with a maximum of four floors, are warmed using non-fossil fuels, and the required electricity is largely generated by the company’s internal photovoltaic system. The residences will not just function with minimal energy usage, but will also be constructed in an eco-conscious manner. Through the reuse of components from deconstructed cantonal properties and other disassembled regional structures, so-called ‘gray energy’ is conserved. The building applies concrete elements from the dismantled Lysbüchel parking garage both as the supporting structure of the buildings and for the construction of the facades. The latently industrial-looking reused building components are elevated by fine constructive detailing and the distinct design of the facades. This method, known as re-use, is employed for the first time in Switzerland in an architectural competition of this magnitude.
the residences will be constructed in an eco-conscious manner
the repurposed material is applied both on the supporting structure and on the facades
the structure applies concrete elements from the dismantled Lysbüchel parking garage
the design is defined by its strong aesthetics, and the consistent use of reused building componentsreusehousingSwitzerlandconcreteThe design team