Obscure Swiss Architects Beat Out Zaha Hadid, David Chipperfield To Win Urban Aquarium Competition
December 12, 2012
images © Boltshauser Architekten
One would be very surprised to know that Zoo Basel, an urban animal kingdom in one of Switzerland’s most beautiful cities, is the most visited tourist attraction of all of Basel. In fact, it’s the country’s second most visited attraction! So news of the zoo’s new aquarium center, and the results of a competition to design it, is kind of a big deal. Swiss firm Boltshauser Architekten edged out 55 international teams of architects, including Zaha Hadid, David Chipperfield, and MVRDV with their beautiful above-ground water cube design called “Seacliff.” Read more.
The design for Seacliff was the smallest of all proposals submitted. The jury found the compact building to be the smartest use of space for an urban development and that the design’s “restrained architectural language” best suited the zoo’s needs. The facade will be made of clay and trass lime as opposed to glass and steel, in order to echo the aesthetic of the rest of the zoo’s iconic buildings. Seacliff is expected to be finished in 2019, when visitors will be able to see coral, sharks, and giant squid right in the middle of the city.
Proposal for Zaha Hadid
Proposal by David Chipperfield Architects
Proposal by MVRDV
[via BD Online]