<Conversion of existing building and new residential buildings Settelen Ensemble, Basel, 2019, Competition 1st prize


The site of the Settelen transport company in Basel, with a rich history as a family business since 1883, is to be transformed and densified in a phased approach by outsourcing the moving business. The densification of the Settelen ensemble with urban residential forms is intended to ensure the continued operation of the car repair shop and sales and to upgrade and expand the remaining parts of the listed building with a diverse program of urban living. The project, which has been developed as the subject of a study commission, is based on a differentiated reading of the heritage character of the site. The valuable historical buildings will be preserved and the conglomerate-like structure of the site will be continued.

Settelen on Türkheimerstrasse and Birkenstrasse is one of the first carriage houses, which was active in postal traffic and courier services with its own carriage construction and later bodywork construction. The old stables, which were built in 1906 according to plans by the Stamm brothers, are among the oldest parts of the building and still bear witness to the presence of the horses. Apart from the horse stables, the wing with offices and living quarters and the workshop wing on Türkheimerstrasse have been preserved, as have the Birkenstrasse wing and the flat-roofed coach house wing. When the Settelen ensemble is opened up for urban forms of living, the listed front south courtyard and its open hall for workshops and car sales will form the center of the ensemble.

The replacement of the infirmary on Türkheimerstrasse defines the access to the northern courtyard with its future residential use. A large proportion of these new apartments will be accommodated in the new building in the northern courtyard, which will replace the rear hall and the garages on the site boundary. The horse stables, a central historical element of the site, will be partially demolished at the edges in the section with the large pitched roof and converted for studio and residential use. The clearing will create two new connections between the northern and southern courtyards, which will open up spatial relationships for the future use of the entire site. In the gap to the west of the Rossstall, a smaller new building closes off the alleyway space in the north courtyard. The wing on Birkenstrasse and the remise wing will be extended. The colorfulness of the façades made of wooden boards and panels, which carry on the oxblood of the existing timberwork, is of great integrative power.

Constructive and spatial elements of the old buildings have been preserved in the conversion into well-lit living spaces. The new building services are kept to a minimum, with visible installations on the walls and ceilings where necessary. Maisonette apartments such as small town houses and studios will be created on the first floor, which can also be added to the apartments. A single-storey garage for cars and bicycles connects the new buildings.

Urban alleyways and a quiet garden courtyard characterize the structure. The juxtaposition of old and new buildings gives the alley its specific identity. Precise settings, such as the wooden annex at the beginning of Türkheimerstrasse or the outdoor café at the end of the alley, organize the outdoor space and create orientation. The partially high property walls, the historic end of the site, will be retained. Their varied greenery also extends along the garden courtyard. The flat roofs of the two new buildings will also be extensively greened under the photovoltaic cells.

Date: 2019
Location: Birkenstrasse/Türkheimerstrasse, Basel
Client: Settelen AG
Program: Apartments, Maisonettes
Area: 12.674m2
Landskape design: Studio Céline Baumann
Civil engineer: Schnetzer Puskas Ingenieur AG