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Neues Stadt-Casino

  • Basel, Switzerland
  • 2004 – 2006
  • Casino Gesellschaft
  • Competition / Research
  • 13723m2

An L-shaped volume that gives a new identity to the Stadt-Casino, enclosing the existing music hall and connecting it with the adjacent Hans Huber Hall. This homogeneous, plastic volume is differentiated and articulated by bulging and inverting its surface, enclosing ‘foreign bodies’ and hollowing it out to create a generous entrance hall.

The façade of the old music hall and the Hans Huber Hall create the main façade for the Neues Stadt Casino along the Steinenberg. The continuation of the two buildings, highlighted by a cut or slice, allows the front surface of the new building to become cohesive whilst the new volume remains sufficiently distanced from the existing building.

Around the corner, in the main public square of Basel – the Barfuesserplatz – the situation changes with a dramatic cantilever that sets an unmistakable indication into the urban space. With a generous view underneath the cantilevering volume, we create a new urban connection from the Barfuesserplatz to the Theaterplatz with the new main entrance to the Stadt-Casino. The surface of the square flows underneath the floating volume of the new building and folds upwards over a ramp, allowing the different levels of the square to be a continuous landscape. The terraced surface of the landscape’s form, and the under-surface of the floating volume, create a generous entrance hall.

The main design feature is a homogeneous, plastic volume which is differentiated and articulated by bulging the surface, inverting it to create a new concert hall, enclosing ‘foreign bodies’ – the old music hall – and by hollowing out the volume to create the entrance hall.

The old music hall is surrounded in an L-shape by the new solidium, but set in contrast in such a way that it is possible to perceive the historical volume. Through the architectural stylistic device of an inversion in the main façade, we achieve a strong connection between the interior space and the public space of the Barfuesserplatz.

The stage of the new concert hall is designed as a large window over the Barfuesserplatz, with the view into the festively illuminated space attracting visitors to attend the concert.




Zaha Hadid with Patrik Schumacher

Project Director

Jim Heverin

Project Architect

Helmut Kinzler

Project Team

Daniel Baerlecken, Matthias Frei, Naomi Fritz, Rebecca Haines-Gadd, Paul Peyrer-Heimstaett, Judith Reitz.

Competition Team

Daniel Baerlecken, Ana Cajiao, Tiago Correia, Helen Floate, Matthias Frei, Jim Heverin, Patrik Schumacher, Caroline Andersen, Saffet Kaya Bekiroglu, Yael Brosilovski, Christine Chow, Gemma Douglas, Matthias Frei, Mariana Ibanez, Tyen Masten,
Judith Reitz

Structural Design

Adams Kara Taylor (London,UK)

Mechanical Engineer

Max Fordham (London,UK)

Acoustic Engineer

Ove Arup & Partners Ltd. (London, UK)


Theatre Projects Consultants (London, UK)


PPE Engineering (Riehen, CH)

Partner Office

Burkhardt + Partners AG (Basel, CH)