The moment we've all been waiting for will be here next week: on Tuesday, 23 April 2013, the inauguration ceremony of the new complex at Messe Basel is being held on the occasion of the opening of BASELWORLD 2013. After an effective construction time of some 22 months, what has doubtlessly been Basel's most spectacular building site over the past two years will be consigned to history. All the work was completed according to plan and on schedule.
The central architectural and urban-planning feature of the new hall complex developed by Basel architects Herzog & de Meuron is the City Lounge with its striking atrium. This is comparable to a station concourse or a market hall and defines the entrance to the exhibition halls. It adds momentum to the new Exhibition Square and is intended to become a focal point of public life in future. The tram stop has thus been incorporated at this point, and a selection of third-party uses are accommodated around the edge.
Architectural visiting card
The new exhibition complex combines functionality and aesthetics almost to perfection. The greater compactness of the site allows considerably more flexible management as well as ensuring greater comfort and convenience for the visitors. And, at the same time, the imposing building constitutes an impressive architectural visiting card.
The ground floor in the southern section of the hall complex houses the multifunctional Event Hall. A unique inscription system with a 112-metre long LED strip can be specifically adapted to each individual event here. The Event Hall is equipped with a basic range of state-of-the-art technical facilities and is directly linked to the Congress Center Basel and the Käfer Stube restaurant via a walkway. It can hold up to 2500 people over an area of 3300 square metres. The transparent facade of the building can be closed off with a mobile partition wall.
Four third-party undertakings are accommodated in the south and north areas of the foyer – to the left and right of the entrances. These are the "Käfer Stube - Cuisine des Alpes" 365-day restaurant, the "Namamen" ramen bar with its typical Japanese soups, the Valora Group's "avec.bistro", combining a shop and bistro under the same roof, and the "MCH Lounge" that can be used for receptions and small events with up to 100 people.
Electricity from a green roof
Great importance was attached to the aspect of energy efficiency. The new complex thus satisfies high energy standards, both with regard to the insulation of the shell and in respect of the provision of heat and cold energy in a manner that is sparing on resources. All the heating, ventilation and refrigeration systems are operated only when required, and most of the waste heat is re-used.
The Basel City "Minergie" certification office has promised that the new complex will be awarded the BS-054 Minergy Label, which has been developed especially for this building project. In addition, the halls comply with the target values set out in SIA Standard 380/4 for lighting and ventilation/air conditioning. Now that the new complex has been finished, work has also started on installing a photovoltaic system on the green roof.