We asked ourselves: what can we offer more? The site that was given is located at the upper end of Basel and is extending on 1.5 km which is very large comparing with the size of the city of Basel itself. So what we can provide to the City of Basel is a large recreational area with various spaces, atmospheres and moments throughout the four seasons.
We decided that our project should be a continuity of Basel’s riverbank, ending at the monument of the Dreiländereck. To reach this theme of continuity of Basel’s riverbank we used different elements. One element, that can be found, is the prominent stone embankment wall which creates the base of our project.
The other important element is combined with the former harbour function of this area: Former railtracks and our interpretation of railtracks run over the whole site and create pathways for pedestrians and bicycles. The visitor needs to choose his track, which then lead to places such as a beach, the Dreiländereck market place or the new residential area.
Another element that leads the visitor to the tip of Basel, the monument of the Dreiländereck is, as we call it, a “green stripe”. A volume of trees creating at some points a dense forest, at others an alley and at the end a looser composition allowing to look through.
The topography is influenced by those elements. Some areas like the tip of the island are flat places where you can enjoy a good view over Basel, the beach and the event place. Other places create an interesting tension such as the contrast between the dense forest and the high buildings of the new residential area with its big open plaza in front, which is at a higher level, overlooking the Rhine.
The site is defined by two sides: one which is more natural, in opposition to the constructed atmosphere. Those quite linear sides are then crossed by a car and tram bridge connecting Basel with the French side. The bridge is integrated into a former harbour building, giving the feeling of entering a ferry on Basel’s side and forcing the cars to slow down. The circulation on the islands is thought for both pedestrians and bicycles.
The project “follow your track” leads its visitors to the tip of Switzerland, creating lots of new meeting places for Basel’s citizens.
To find a new topography for the Klybeck Island we started to form a small bay to play with the outline of the island. We developed this small bay during the semester into a larger river pool which interacts with the whole context.
Thanks of the tide the new river arm changes from a filled up pool to a canal.
We realized that if you want to swim in the Rhine in Basel, you have to swim with the river current. We saw a big benefit of creating a river pool which creates a slower water body during the summertime.
With our designed beach bank we want to integrate that river pool with the city.
To regulate the water flow, the opening to the new Rhine arm is small, 90 degree angled and higher than the Rhine floor. With a weir at the end of the river pool we control the water movement. In order to create the island we use the existing hard edge towards the Rhine and to support the tip of the island we shaped a hard nose.
For swimmers who swim up the Rhine we create a last exit-area with steps to allow the swimmers to get out of the Rhine easily. The exit-area is connected to the beach and the already existing infrastructure offers space for leisure activities and for example changing rooms etc.
We form two long poolside’s, one on the Klybeck Island and one next to the existing Klybeck city to have several possibilities to get to the water.
The banksides are open park spaces, with irregularly planted pines. This area creates free space for leisure activities and place for recreation.
Around the banksides we create a flexible belt with different urban squares which connects the park with the new urban city zone of Klybeck.
The surrounding of this new built river zone is planed as a dense urban zone. A new Bridge on the north top of the Klybeck Island allows walkers to get on the island. In addition it’s a link between the two urban islands. The southern tip of the island is free of bridges to assure the atmosphere of an island
Next to the industrial part of Klybeck, we plan an attractive outgoing zone for the people of Basel with restaurants and cultural offers.
Between the new designed river bank and the existing city we used the old train tracks to create a new leisure area. The in-betweens of the train-tracks are filled up with different materials, so that this long strip creates a perfect place for walkers, inline skaters, bikers, runners and other sport activities.
Old wagons offer also changing rooms and showers for the lake swimmers.
We try to integrate several existing infrastructure in our design and organize the utilization in a new way.
The fact of the existance of an ancient Klybeck island motivated us to create a green islet, which stands out as a landmark for the neighbourhood. Therefore, the main concept is about building two very dense and very different islands, one filled with a wood, the other with buildings. The confrontation of culture and nature provocates a tension, wich is perceivable on the generous recreation space in between, lining up around the green core oft he site.
Because of the smaller shape of the park-island there is the possibility to extend the existing city to the border of the new Rhine canal with a new layer of a dense neighbourhood. The combination of the sloping topography and some new buildings next to the big square should work as a clear border in order to seperate itself to the artificial hill on the other side of the square. The small hill works like the starting point of the city-island with an important public function. As a result of these interventions the topography should be read as a combination of two different islands, which are clearly defined in their way of use.
The alignement of the new promenade next to the bank is an important point in the project. The main path should work as one smooth line in order to cross the whole area in a logical way. The two main recreation spaces divide the promenade in two, so that the port in the north has its own access to the banks of basel in the south. This promenades serve different levels and give view to some points of attraction, for example an old oiltank or the former terminal hall, wich is now the center of the northern square and is used for concerts ect. The place to take a bath on the city-side is meant to be an urban situation. Instead of a ‘traditional beach’ there is a hard boarder to the water on the side of the city to provide an urban relationship to the water. Next to the Promenade there is always the possibility to step down to more intimate spaces on the bank.
In contrast to the ‘urban beach’ on the city-side, the island has a traditional beach on the northern part.
The city itself is very much copied and adapted from the given structure. Looking for more acceptance, our buildings are similar in height and density tot he neighbourhood. The buildings on the main land are made as blocks with defined courtyards, but can also be read as continous row of houses, emphasizing the linearity and strength oft he site.
Ont the city island the area is cleary divided in a back and a front, whereas in the east it gonna be worked and in the west there is supposed to live.
Contemporary cities need special spaces dedicated to trends. If one thinks about this necessity happening on the same site of an important logistical and cultural places such as the Basel area of Klybeck, one could really both imagine and achieve heterotopic spaces for the city. Notion of intimacy, sculpting and topographical linear layering were for us main ideas of a spacial articulation after the first site visit.
The idea of a hill as a counterpart for the city aims to achieve a balance with the artificial displacement of material (coming from the canal digging), and a cultural attractive view point for the layered landscape that slopes down on to the other side towards the intimate riverfront. Furthermore it has the dimensions to house infrastructure such as cafés, changing cabins and showers. The topographical orientation of the purposed landscape follows the linearity and the layered space of the existing site.
The proposed hill stretches north-south and steeply slopes towards a new Rhine arm, which cuts it longitudinally creating two different articulated spaces in the section. The shifting of the hill sides creates a displacement in the topography, which confers it its diagonal layout. As a consequence of this the hill is constantly cut by paths and river boardwalks in order for people to access the most intimate spaces. The “sculpting” together with the shifting gives the topography of the hill its main shape and creates a city space, whom threshold is the diagonal.
The slope towards the more intimate space of the of the new Rhine arm opens up to a constructed edge along the whole length of the boardwalk. The canal edge is organised in a flowing sequence of linear spaces articulated by different materials defining different activities: a walking promenade, a boardwalk on to sit on and sunbath and a more wild experience on the island park side.
The site is framed both north and south from two piazze, however of a very different character. The south one acts as an end to the promenade along the Rhine coming from the inner city and as a point from which one can grasp the whole site with the hill. This piazza is set in dialog with the hard stepped pointy edge of the island and slopes down to a large beach that continues along the riverside flowing in the next layers. A catwalk bridge connects the piazza to the Novartis Campus on the other side of the Rhine. The north piazza acts as a retaining element to the shifted topography and as a threshold to the new city on one side and the Klybeck area on the other side.
The planting plan includes various trees that are to find on the Klybeck site of Basel such as populous tremula, populous nigra and tilia cordata. The trees are organised as clusters, single and double rows and finally as single elements depending on their position. By this one can experience both canopy like spaces and single shaded restoring spaces. The whole ensemble results in an extremely dynamic layered articulation of space and aims to express its physical and poetic properties.
A new hill builds the centre of the park and gives the visitor a wide overview and let him see the border triangle, the Klybeck accommodation and the Novartis campus on the west side of the Rhein river, in a perspective he never seen before.
The hill is built out of the excavated material from the new Rhein-arm and overlies three public halls. To the Kybeck-side he flows down in the new Rhein-arm, where he is rising up again into the smooth beach and ends in the old train track area. This part of the project stays topographically untouched and is reused by movable coaches, which contain different uses, such as takeaways, flowerbeds or changing cabins. These layers of tracks and the new-planted tree lines generate a soft threshold to the existing city.
A boulevard breaks through the new city on the island and connects the two ends with a tree line. The strictness runs out on both sides into calm arranged trees.
The topography of the hill influences the whole island. The boulevard is an extension of the hill and flows down at both sides to the old site level. This new height from the boulevard creates different spaces and leads to a separation of people and cars.
The Island is connected by ferry on the Rhein side and by tram on the Klybeck side. The new international bridge connects the two neighbours and includes a subterranean car entrance for the island.
The Klybeck accommodation receives a large public extension and is finally directly connected to the Rhein.