Caruso St John Architects

Location: Basel, CH
Client: Novartis
Project Status: Competition

This competition design was for a gateway building to the research campus of the pharmaceutical company Novartis. The project is part of the masterplan to redevelop the company's former production site on the edge of the city, beside the Rhine, into a new quarter of offices and research laboratories within a park setting. The building contained a public visitors centre on the ground floor, with offices above, and was to be located at the entrance to the campus, facing a new park.

The design makes reference to the golden age of American office buildings of the 1950s and '60s, providing an efficient and flexible layout combined with a lightness of spirit and a quiet luxury. The deep cantilevers of the upper floors give an impression of weightlessness, which increases on approaching the building, when the columns and glazing recede from view. The front face of the continuous balconies are clad in thin white marble, lending a brilliant reflectivity to the façade that catches the colours of the park.