<Vision Campus 2040 Music Academy Basel, Basel, 2022


The integration of the music school and the conservatory with the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis formed the Music Academy of the City of Basel. The Music Academy Basel boasts a wide spectrum, encompassing early music, classical music, contemporary music, and performance. For 150 years, it has enriched Basel's cultural and academic landscape with concerts, academic seminars, and masterclasses.

The historical ensemble in the old town, featuring the music hall from 1903 and the main building from 1902/03 constructed by Fritz Stehlin in an 18th-century style, alongside the Haus zum Vorderen Rosengarten, has steadily expanded into a campus. This growth included further conversions of existing buildings and the addition of a new library building. Now, facing extensive refurbishments, the complex aims to create more rehearsal rooms and a "Salle Modulable" for new music, performance, and digital music projects as part of the Campus 2040 vision. Four offices have been invited to a study of these tasks.

Maintaining the balance between old and new in terms of urban planning and architecture is crucial despite the expanded spatial program. The historic buildings of the music academy must retain prominence in the urban space.

The academy site is reimagined with the Salle Modulable and a Logenhof courtyard, facilitating contemporary uses and experimental curating. A new volume is added to the Vera Oeri Library from 2009 in the northern courtyard, embedding the Salle Modulable within the complex. A barrel roof over the library serves as a design element, enhancing the ensemble while respecting the existing building's eaves and gable heights. Photovoltaic tiles on the roof allow for energy utilization and a dialogue with the historic roofs, while a table support structurally sustains the construction. Acoustically favorable ceilings and floors are part of the solid construction. The new entrance links the small hall in the south courtyard with the north courtyard, mediating between existing levels. To accommodate new practice rooms for music, there are suggestions to replace the administration building at Leonhardsgraben 40. A street-side loggia will serve as a second entrance to the campus, creating an open waiting room in front of the new Musik-Akademie tram stop. The Salle Modulable and Library and the new building for practice of Music share a close symbiosis, evident in the shared Logenhof courtyard extending over three underground storeys. The courtyard windows feature floor-to-ceiling glazing adorned with collages by Christian Marclay to the side of the library. The modern practice rooms and the rhythm room facing away from the Leonhardsgraben are oriented towards the courtyard, lending it a festive atmosphere with its balconies.

In the second phase of modernization in the southern courtyard, the long rectangular block in the west will be elevated, becoming visible behind the silhouette of the Great Hall. The New Hall and the Klaus Linder Hall will be preserved. A spacious staircase with a lift will provide access to lower and upper floors, while the cafeteria will be relocated to Leonhardsstrasse and opened up. Gentle renovations of old buildings, with their attics converted into music rooms, are planned. The variety of outdoor spaces holds great value for the musicians, who often spend entire days and evenings at the academy. The Logenhof courtyard introduces a space with a new character, while the planting of lime trees in the southern academy courtyard creates a more uniform appearance and offers shade within the existing space. A formerly private garden at the back of the academy courtyard is connected through an opening in the wall. The garden of the Villa Moser will be transformed, with a dense, curved hedge dividing it.

Date: 2022
Location: Leonhardsstrasse 6, Basel
Client: Musik-Akademie Basel
Area: 8.755 m2
Landscape design: Vogt Landschaftsarchitekten
Room acoustics: Müller BBM GmbH
Civil engineer: ZPF Ingenieure AG (Statik)

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