Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Neues Stadt-Casino in Basel, Switzerland by Zaha Hadid Architects
March 7th, 2012 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Zaha Hadid Architects
An L-shaped volume that gives a new identity to the Stadt-Casino, enclosing the existing music hall and connecting it with the adjacent Hans Huber Hall. This homogeneous, plastic volume is differentiated and articulated by bulging and inverting its surface, enclosing ‘foreign bodies’ and hollowing it out to create a generous entrance hall.
The façade of the old music hall and the Hans Huber Hall create the main façade for the Neues Stadt Casino along the Steinenberg. The continuation of the two buildings, highlighted by a cut or slice, allows the front surface of the new building to become cohesive whilst the new volume remains sufficiently distanced from the existing building.
Around the corner, in the main public square of Basel – the Barfuesserplatz – the situation changes with a dramatic cantilever that sets an unmistakable indication into the urban space. With a generous view underneath the cantilevering volume, we create a new urban connection from the Barfuesserplatz to the Theaterplatz with the new main entrance to the Stadt-Casino. The surface of the square flows underneath the floating volume of the new building and folds upwards over a ramp, allowing the different levels of the square to be a continuous landscape. The terraced surface of the landscape’s form, and the under-surface of the floating volume, create a generous entrance hall.
The main design feature is a homogeneous, plastic volume which is differentiated and articulated by bulging the surface, inverting it to create a new concert hall, enclosing ‘foreign bodies’ – the old music hall – and by hollowing out the volume to create the entrance hall.
The old music hall is surrounded in an L-shape by the new solidium, but set in contrast in such a way that it is possible to perceive the historical volume. Through the architectural stylistic device of an inversion in the main façade, we achieve a strong connection between the interior space and the public space of the Barfuesserplatz.
The stage of the new concert hall is designed as a large window over the Barfuesserplatz, with the view into the festively illuminated space attracting visitors to attend the concert.
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