Energy efficiency, community spaces, and neighborhood identity were drivers for this farmhouse-to-office conversion.
An historic farmhouse in Muttenz-Basel is home to the European studio of Oppenheim Architecture. Located in the heart of the old city, this adaptive reuse project includes the construction of a new, infill house behind. The first floor of the studio is semi-public and open to the town square, with its conference room and gallery used for special community events and the annual Art Basel international art festival.
As a mixed-use development, the project supports the AIA’s 10 Principles for Liveable Communities by preserving and revitalizing the urban center, supporting compact and pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods.
Our adaptation of the 280-year-old structure protects and amplifies its heritage architecture, while converting the interior into a warm and energy-efficient space. Particular attention was given to daylight ingress to maximize visual comfort and productivity, and reduce the need for artificial light. By increasing the number of windows and creating double-height spaces, we created a modern, light-filled interior.
Achieving Switzerland’s Minergie low energy standard, our other sustainability strategies include solar roof panels; energy efficiency construction; water reclamation and reuse; restoration of existing building fabric; and use of reclaimed, recycled, or local materials to minimize the waste stream. At 28 inches thick, the historic stone walls offer excellent thermal mass. Another layer of insulation sprayed on the inside surface ensures very little energy is required to heat the interior.
Rather than consume the overall site with buildings, the project includes gardens to support healthy residential and work communities, and respects nature by providing wildlife habitat.