After the Party 2.0 – The Vertical Fairground [M2]

In this studio, students will reimagine the center of the fairground Messe Basel and its pinnacle event Art Basel. Students will elaborate on speculative projects aiming at redefinition how fair life and everyday life alternate and complement each other in the heart of Basel.

Deviating from the exhausted understanding of the high-rise as an abstract and hermetic extrusion of identical floors with minimum footprint, maximal vertical occupation, and maximum profitability, the studio will explore the notion of the high-rise as an eclectic and diverse infrastructure. Generous series of spaces, open to use and appropriation, which allow adaptability and reflect material, social, economic, and sustainable strategies along its entire height aim to develop a verticalized and porous experience of the common ground.

Student work will contribute to the ongoing discussion regarding the future role of the Messe within the city center of Basel and typologically into the discussion of verticalization of trade fair buildings as urban catalysts that allow the city public space and the fairground to blend into an extensive urban common. Expectations and needs of the public and the city have changed.

Cities are expected to become more liveable, more sustainable, more affordable, and more resilient. If we want to have a more resilient city, we need design that is flexible, capable of conversion, and eventually capable of deconstruction.

The studio will be led by Tilo Herlach, Simon Hartmann, and Simon Frommenwiler, with weekly contact hours. In addition, there will be workshops with a structural engineer, the city architect, and the decision makers of Messe Basel.

A tentatively planned study trip to Basel, including several workshops (with the city building department, Messe Basel stakeholders, and a structural engineer team), will allow the studio to get acquainted and discuss historical and recent Swiss architecture and put students in exchange with protagonists of contemporary architectural production.