Architect: PARABASE
Client: Immobilien Basel Stadt
Status: Competition (2023) Project (2023) On going (2023 - 2028)
Location: Basel, Switzerland
Coordinates: 47.5392410, 7.6105220
Climate: Oceanic / maritime, Temperate
Material: Concrete
Environments: Industrial, Railway, Urban
Visualizer: Studio
Budget: 70.000.000 €
Scale: 20.000 ㎡ Large
Ratio: 3.500,00 €/㎡
Types: Housing, Residential

ELEMENTA is the winning proposal of an open international architectural competition organised by the city of Basel for the construction of 20’000 sqm of public housing and an integration centre for migrants. The ELEMENTA project convinced the interdisciplinary jury with its strong aesthetics, generated through the systematic use of reused building components as part of the load-bearing structure of the new buildings. This is a pioneering development in this sense, as it will be the first time that this construction method has been used in an architectural project of this scale.

The Walkeweg site is one of the largest development areas in the canton of Basel and is located in the vicinity of Dreispitz, Wolf and Irène Zurkinden-Platz. Here, as part of the 1000+ housing program, the canton of Basel will develop, under public investment, the ELEMENTA project, which is expected to be completed in 2028. 120 affordable housing units of different typologies and a centre for the integration of migrants with 44 units for temporary use.

The low grey energy value in the construction of ELEMENTA is due, on the one hand, to the reuse of building components and, on the other hand, to the use of environmentally friendly, local, renewable materials with minimal CO² emissions, such as wooden walls, clay building boards, clay plaster and cellulose insulation. The ELEMENTA project reuses 2,680 building components from the demolition of several cantonal buildings in the immediate vicinity.

These reused materials are used both for the load-bearing structure and for the construction of facades, railings, paving, etc., achieving a total saving equivalent to 1’088’082 kg CO². The load-bearing structural system of the ELEMENTA project consists of a combination of reused components and new prefabricated construction elements, resulting in an unconventional aesthetic. This is especially evident in the design of Plot D where the prefabricated concrete slabs of the nearby Lysbüchel car park building are reused to become the load-bearing system of the façade, bringing the industrial expression to the new use.

The prefabricated reinforced concrete structure is flexible enough to accommodate different floor typologies. In the project, the loadbearing structure, the façade and the interior construction are kept as three independent systems. This not only allows a good separation of components for the next life cycle of the buildings, but also allows a high degree of flexibility.

The new buildings of the ELEMENTA project will not only be constructed in an environmentally friendly manner, but will also operate with low energy consumption, following the MINERGIE-ECO standards. The residential buildings, which have a maximum of four storeys, are heated without fossil fuels, and the necessary electricity is generated by their own photovoltaic system with panels located both on the façade and on the roof.

Team: Carla Ferrando, Pablo Garrido Arnaiz | Collaborator: Monotti Ingegneri Consulenti SA | Consultant: Anima Engineering, Senn Technologies | Landscape: USUS Landschaftsarchitektur | Post date: 05/01/2024 | Views: 1.176