The redesign of the square in front of the Messeturm and Messehalle Basel was part of the competition for the Messeturm Basel, belonging to Switzerland's biggest exhibition space for trade fairs, used for "Art Basel" and other important international trade events.
At the location of the tower the public tram turning loop and tram station used to be situated and had to be relocated before beginning of the building construction of the tower.
The Messeplatz is closed to motorized traffic, except for delivery traffic to Messe Basel. The square is used in many ways and has to satisfy different requirements. It serves the local residents as a recreation and play area, the Messe Basel as an extension of their exhibition space, as a garden restaurant, during the Autumn Fair as space for stands and rides, etc. These diverse usages create limits to the design and yet allowed opportunities to work creatively, The elements that characterize the exhibition space, are the lanterns and flagpoles, a water basin, the tram station, and of course, the writing covering the entire square by Austrian artist Heimo Zobernigg: the huge letters are executed as mosaic on the floor. The lettering "Messe Basel" is only readable from a sufficient distance from the height of the exhibition tower.
Located before the front building of Hall 1 is a geometrically grove under whose crowns space is created for various activities, the garden restaurant "Escale", chess sets, various uses during fairs and stalls during the Autumn Fair.
A spacious, monolithic water basin (9 x 30 m), which is illuminated from the inside walls accentuates the free space between the trade fair buildings and the surrounding streets. A wide border around the entire pool invites you to linger.
Big, canterlevered roofs which rest on a single base element, mark the tram stops. The base members include all necessary infrastructure for the tram traffic: i.e. information desk, toilet facilities, ticket machines, etc.
About the Project
MCH Messe Basel;
Herr Ueli Born, Project Director H6 Herr Edgar Jenny, Head Facility Management
Morger Degelo Marques, Basel Verkehrrsingenieur: Rapp AG, Basel
Project management / Project management:
OAP Erich Offermann
August 2003 - April 2004
Total construction cost:
ca. CHF 42 Mio.
Total floor area