EBP has completed the planning for a ground-level park and a multifunctional basement area as part of a project known as “The Square” at the Novartis Campus in Basel. The park includes a 30-by-8-meter glass pavilion and an elegant stairway roof atop the basement.
In addition to offering a pleasant place for people to linger and an appealing venue for events, the pavilion serves as a roof for the main stairway link to the basement where commuters can park their bicycles.
Working in the capacity of a general planner, EBP completed the planning for the pavilion, the multifunctional basement and the ground-level park together with the Stauffer Rösch Landscape Architecture Firm, with Stauffer Rösch assuming responsibility for planning the park while EBP oversaw the planning and site management for all structures in and below the park. The park and pavilion were designed by the Good Form Studio Landscape Architecture Firm based in Columbus, Ohio, while Novartis Chief Architect Marco Serra designed the multifunctional basement and stairway roof.
The slender and virtually inconspicuous load-bearing structure for the glass pavilion is a lightweight steel frame. Although unheated, the pavilion serves as a shelter against the elements. Outfitted with scaled, sliding glass walls, the pavilion can be opened at each of its long ends, a feature that was worked out independently by EBP according to design specifications provided by Good Form Studio. This work included a determination of a scaling angle that would enable the sliding glass walls to slide together and thereby allow the pavilion to be opened as widely as possible. The same angle needed to be curved by a certain radius at the rounded corners without enlarging the pavilion’s exterior dimensions. It was also essential to ensure that the appearance of the two access doors, which include an escape-route function, would resemble that of the sliding glass walls as much as possible. The development process resulted in a simple, solid construction.
Pavilion overheating is prevented by the open joint between the glass walls and the roof that allows the air to circulate continuously. A retractable solar shade can also be extended to reduce direct sunlight and glare. The mechanism for the shade was integrated into the edge of the circumferential roof while the utility lines (electric and water) were integrated into the steel frame in a manner that renders them invisible while also ensuring their immediate accessibility.
The glass for the roof was manufactured with an interlayer of SentryGlas® that has an especially high UV-permeability rate so as not to hinder the growth of the vines inside the pavilion.
Another functionally and aesthetically important element in the park is the stairway on the park’s northern end. The steel roof appears to grow out of the underground level through the open space in the spiral staircase. The roof is comprised of two columns and an oval crown. The ribs welded to the columns arch outward just below the crown to provide a load-bearing structure. Here, too, all of the electrical and water lines are integrated into the steel construction for maintenance-free operation. Back-ventilated, titanium-zinc sheets arranged in a star pattern serve as the roof’s skin.
The simple elegance of both the pavilion and the stairway roof is striking. One essential factor for the successful implementation of the demanding functional and design specifications was the interdisciplinary approach taken by the planning team, which consisted of specialists in the areas of façade engineering, construction engineering and utilities planning.
Picture Credits: ADRIANO A. BIONDO - www.biondopictures.com