A choral work: this is how we could define the Novartis pavilion designed by AMDL CIRCLE and Michele De Lucchi, located on the Novartis campus in Basel, Switzerland. The pharmaceutical giant’s new exhibition center designed to host meetings and events is the first publicly accessible building on the Novartis-owned site. With the international design competition launched in 2017, Novartis aims to promote dialogue about life sciences, as well as to become a resource showcasing the past, present and future of healthcare.
The competition was won by AMDL CIRCLE, which collaborated with the Blaser Butscher Architekten AG company to oversee, coordinate and deliver the project. The scenography of the permanent exhibition “wonders of medicine“The multimedia exhibition located inside the pavilion, meanwhile, is the work of the German BRUCKNER WORKSHOP studio, with content created in close collaboration with Novartis scientists.
The pavilion designed by AMDL CIRCLE is a flexible architecture that communicates the values of science. Starting from a circular plan, the building is structured on two levels intended for different users. The open space on the ground floor welcomes visitors with a cafeteria and check-in area, as well as an informal and reconfigurable presentation space. The large 360 degree windows not only allow natural light to enter the building, but also create visual continuity with the exterior. Visitors can enjoy beautiful views of the Rhine next to the campus, which already has interventions by other internationally renowned architects such as David Chipperfield, Frank Gehry and Tadao Ando.
A mezzanine housing a multimedia theater with stairlifts serves as a connecting element between the ground floor and the upper floor. The top floor, meanwhile, provides access to the “Marvels of Medicine” exhibition space, a flowing gallery without walls or dividing elements that serves as the stage for the exhibition designed by ATELIER BRÜCKNER. Divided into four distinct themes, the narrative brings visitors closer to those involved in medicine and makes the content highly accessible. As the company’s managing director, Shirin Brückner, puts it, “Health is a subject that concerns us all.
The interiors, designed by the firm AMDL CIRCLE, feature custom elements made by Private productioncompany created by Michele De Lucchi to develop experimental design objects and promote craftsmanship.
The most emblematic part of the new building is undoubtedly its media facadedesigned and produced in collaboration with iart, a Basel, Switzerland-based multimedia architecture studio that aims to enhance physical spaces with digital technology, enabling original experiences. Thanks to a new generation of organic photovoltaics, combined with a grid of LED lights, this visually striking media façade has no energy impact – a real design showpiece! On the facade, with content curated by the HEK (House of Electronic Arts) institution based in Basel, you can admire the works of three international artists: Daniel Canogar, Esther Hunziker and Semiconductor. Selected artists collaborated with Novartis scientists to develop light installations “inspired by the shapes and colors of cells and molecules, as well as themes of sustainability and the convergence of art and science,” as we read in the press release. Indeed, a real scientific landmark for the city of Basel.
Design Architects – AMDL CIRCLE and Michele De Lucchi, Milan
Executive architect and construction management – Blaser Butscher Architekten AG, Basel (https://blaserarchitekten.ch/, https://www.butscherarchitekten.ch/)
Structural engineering: Schnetzer Puskas Ingenieure AG, HVAC: Herrmann & Partner, Electrical: Edeco AG, Facade: Emmer Pfenninger Partner AG, Sanitary: Locher AG, Building physics: Ehrsam Beurret Partner AG, Fire safety: Gruner AG
Design of the exhibition Wonders of Medicine – Brückner workshopstuttgart
Media façade & technical development of the exhibition – iartBasel
Media Front Curator – Sabine Himmelsbach, HEK (House of Electronic Arts)
Media Facade Artists – Daniel Canogar, Esther Hunziker, Semiconductor
Landscape architect – Vogt Landschaftsarchitekt, Zurich
Location: Basel, Switzerland
Images: (c) iart, Novartis, Atelier Brückner – Michael Reiner, Laurits Jensen