Max Rasser and Tibère Vadi built the cubic corner building in 1958 at the intersection of the Pfluggässlein and Weisse Gasse in Basel. It received its name Domus-House as the outlet for the Danish home goods store. The building’s construction and structure are simple: the ground floor is a diaphanous shop level above which stand five floors and a top floor apartment. Three continuous, round cement pillars support the floors in the fashion of a walk-in shelving system. The structure of the end-to-end façade derives from the visible side panels of the cement floor as they alternate with the window panels. These window panels consist of black-painted, low-profile metal casements holding partially fluted windowpanes.
In 1984, the Architecture Museum made the Domus House its seat, not least for its timeless, classic modernity. This also saved the building from demolition. Renovation required no more than cleaning the façade, repainting the walls, and replacing the flooring. The exhibition level gained new options for its layout with the introduction of additional elements. These elements consist of movable walls that follow the geometry as laid down by the three pillars. The movable walls enable different spatial arrangements and connecting structures within the open floor plan. The Architecture Museum organized more than 100 exhibitions at the Domus-House before relocating to the Kunsthalle in 2003.
Client: Foundation Architecture Museum
Location: Pfluggässlein 3, Basel, Switzerland
Use / Function: Exhibition space