Diener & Diener - Switzerland
Residential Building Markthalle
Viaduktstr.10 / Steinentorberg 18, Basel
2007 - 2012

The Basel market hall was built in 1929, and is the largest solid dome construction in the world. Until 2003 the building was used as a market hall.
In 2007 the canton Basel sold the 9000 square meter area including the peripheral development to the general contractor Allreal.
Diener & Diener architects designed a 14-storey high-rise apartment building as an addition to the market hall. Through the carefully chosen positioning
and the relative slenderness, the tower-like building complements the market hall without competing with it. Creating an ensemble with the surroundings
was one of the main design objective. The prism-shaped volume of the tower is in dialogue with the dome of the market hall, but remains independent.
Located close to the Heuwaage and Steinentorberg, the building creates a distinctive urban gateway situation. Not far from the Basel main station,
residential tower is surrounded by major banks and hotels. The base of the building is occupied by a foyer, commercial companies and service offices.
Based on a pentagonal plan, the apartment building is orientend on five sides and allows views to the city in all directions. The pentagonal plan
of the tower is not an independent choice of the architects, but the consequence of the distance rules by the building law and the attempt to minimize
the effects of shading. The contorted form of the building allows two or three fašades to be seen together, so that the building appears slim or wide.
The tower contains 47 spaciously designed apartments, mainly with 2 or 3 rooms. On the typical floor plan four flats are arranged around a centra staircase.
On the twelth floor are found two larger apartments with four respectively five bedrooms. On the interior, all large-format windows reach the floor.
The facade is made of cast glass which hides the black-red painted thermal insulation. Depending on the weather conditions, the colour shines through
the glass in different intensity or reflections influence the appearance.
Sometimes the base appears darker and the upper stories brighter. Or the tower
shines out against the surrounding from afar, but seems to equalize with the nearby houses when getting near.
This concept was used already
several times in varied form by Diener & Diener architects.
The closed areas of the perforated facade are all of the same size, while they alternate
rhythmically with three different window formats.