Schweizergasse Apartment Building
Old and new come together in our sympathetic transformation of a 100-year-old building into four contemporary family homes in Basel.
We were invited to modernize a century-old building situated in the leafy central district of Bachletten. Applying careful attention to heritage details, we inserted fresh new elements using a simple materials palette and a precise language of additions that enhance the original features. The result is a fresh but timeless interpretation that provides an elegant backdrop to the occupants’ daily lives.
The three-story building sits behind a very modest front yard and abuts its neighbors. We dressed the front façade simply in white plaster, accentuating its ornate articulated reliefs. We also restored a pair of balconies—one in intricately detailed wrought iron and the other in plaster, as if formed from the façade itself; while shutters, window frames and the front door have been treated as a collection, all finished in natural wood.
Internally, the details and finishes have been revealed and retained, including the original wooden staircase and elaborate ceiling stucco. Each apartment has been designed to its specific needs. On the lower levels, new timber-lined kitchens appear to have been carved out of the existing walls, while the new bathrooms have glowing white interiors. Within the occupied rooftop space, the existing wooden roof beams have been left exposed, and new skylights draw in natural light, resulting in a bright and open interior space.
With a deep respect for heritage and reuse, but the market need for comfortable and contemporary living spaces, we have combined the best of both worlds.