The Riehenring development occupies a street block east of the apartment buildings on the Hammerstrasse. Here, the program of subsidized apartments has been expanded to include office, retail, and commercial spaces. Despite the fact that, as a perimeter square development, it is tightly integrated into the urban fabric of the Matthäus quarter, it nevertheless has the function of a peripherally located center for the neighborhood because of the wide array of services it provides. In contrast to the development on the Hammerstrasse, this project proceeded from the close engagement with the site’s history and a careful consideration of the shape and expression of industrial estates. The apartment buildings along the three streets differ from each other and are grouped in rows of two or three houses. The commercial buildings are located in the corners between the apartment buildings. The entire building complex contains a public courtyard that culminates in a games court, which doubles as a location for open-air film screenings. A sun deck that extends across the three tallest houses completes the available communal outdoor space. A footpath between the new and the old buildings extends the alleyway that traverses the Hammerstrasse block.
The shape of the buildings is uncoupled from the static pattern that characterizes perimeter square developments and is, instead, determined by the organization of the floor plans. All the different apartments are made up of equal or similar elements. The equally sized rooms create a continuous structure that differs only by its windows and circle the inner courtyard like the chain links.
The rooms of the apartments skirting the street further differ in their shape and type of supporting structure and as regards to their window openings. The first floor of the apartment buildings is given over to retail and commercial spaces, while the entrance and delivery port for the supermarket is placed on the first floor of the office buildings.
The buildings are massive constructions. The façades of the apartment buildings that face the Riehenring and the main façades of the office buildings are non-loadbearing walls. The other external walls are loadbearing. Characteristic of the entire complex is its richness of material contrasts, with some external walls faced with plastered stonework, others with white enameled corrugated aluminum.
Client: Basellandschaftliche Beamtenversicherungskasse Liestal
Location: Riehenring/ Amerbachstrasse/ Efringerstrasse, Basel, Switzerland
Gross Floor Area (GFA): 19.412 m²
Use / Function: 74 apartments (3-room-apartments 81-100m², 5-room-apartments 127m², 5-room-maisonettes 139-146m²), underground parking, offices, shops
Structural Engineer: Léon Goldberg