Sitting on the south border of the Novartis Campus, this simple office block functions as a boundary between the facilities of the pharmaceutical company and a park that connects them to the city of Basel. The building, a rectangular prism with an interior courtyard, was designed to wrap up the perimeter and take up the whole plot, so the built ring is concentrated in a slender section with a narrow bay where the elements have been reduced to a minimum. This bold simplicity, its drastic reductiveness, is precisely what characterizes the building.
The offices succeed one another on the bay, without greater fragmentations than the vertical cores and transversal load elements repeated every 10.5 meters. Several bridges cross the interior courtyard at different levels, connecting the departments and housing complementary services like meeting rooms and cafeteria. Services are embedded in the structural pieces, so the facade has no tubes or additions. The skin that wraps the building, consisting of three glass sheets with extremely thin frames, seems to float, and wraps the prismatic volume as if it were a continuous plane, making it even more abstract. The interior space is weightless, clear and filled with light.
Novartis Pharma AG
SANAA. Kazuyo Sejima, Ryue Nishizawa
Nicole Berganski, Takayuki Hasegawa, Isao Shinohara, Yuka Nishiyama, Andreas Krawczyk; Arcoplan Generalplaner AG (arquitecto local local architect)
SAPS / Sasaki and Partners: Mutsuro Sasaki, Yasutaka Konishi, Takeshi Suzuki; Bollinger + Grohmann Ingenieure (estructura structural engineering); Transsolar (energía energy concept); Transplan, Henne + Walter (instalaciones mechanical engineering); Raible + Partner (electricidad electrical engineering); Baumgartner (automatismos building automotion); Horstmann + Berger (física, acústica building physics, acoustics); Front, Neuschwander + Morf (fachada facade); Licht Kunst Licht (iluminación lighting); Andree Putman (diseño de interiores interior design); Vogt Landschaftsarchitekten (paisajismo landscape design)
Christian Richters, Walter Niedermayr