Parterre One Music, the radically redesigned concert hall completed in 2017, is now joined by Parterre One Bistro, Restaurant & Bar, a new gastronomical space that honors its historic past.
Project Name: Parterre One
Architect Name: Focketyn Del Rio Studio
Situated in the center of Basel and prominently located in the Kaserne area, several heritage buildings hosting cultural and gastronomic programming were disconnected and lacked a collective identity. This architectural ensemble needed profound refurbishment and repurposing. Tasked with designing and finalizing this transformation, FOCKETYN DEL RIO Studio proposed a masterplan for the whole complex. The studio first introduced a large, multi-functional concert hall in 2017 and recently completed the plan with a newly renovated restaurant and the introduction of a lavish courtyard that connects both buildings. Now, the buildings of Parterre Basel, a cultural events and gastronomy entrepreneur that is deeply rooted in Basel’s thriving art and music scene, radiate with a radically refreshed presence in the center of the city.
UPDATING THE ESSENCE
The restaurant, already established as part of a flourishing gastronomical scene, is situated in a building which was originally a military barracks. Tasked with its transformation, FDR Studio chose to update the site while still preserving its historical character. FOCKETYN DEL RIO: “The original restaurant was furnished with dark floorboards and a big shelf showcasing books and magazines. This simple space contained bold features that were difficult to discern due to storage spaces which blocked visual connections and affected circulation. In general, the atmosphere was cluttered by service areas. Operating a bit like archeologists, we set out to recover the hidden potential of this space. We highlighted the original elements to carve a better future from the past.”
FDR Studio restored the building’s facade, recreating its image according to standards set forth by the Heritage department. Furthermore, the structure and MEP were redone entirely, making the building aseismic and conform to contemporary comfort standards. New entryways were also added, making the building more permeable to the surrounding activities.
By removing several structures in the inner courtyard, the passageways and spaces between the buildings were unblocked. This newly found void becomes the center of the whole ensemble and the binding element between the restaurant and the adjacent concert hall. To address the varied heights of the separate buildings, FDR Studio introduced a functional yet aesthetic concrete topography, allowing for accessibility and multiple social uses within a walled courtyard.
The red color of the refurbished facade is maintained throughout the entire interior. Public zones on both the ground and first floors reflect the same shade, warmly guiding visitors through the building.
FOCKETYN DEL RIO STUDIO
FOCKETYN DEL RIO STUDIO is a multidisciplinary practice specializing in design, architecture, and research. Based in Basel, Switzerland, and founded by Hans Focketyn and Miquel del Rio in 2013, this partnership from Belgium and Barcelona is at the forefront of a new generation of European architects shaping the future of cultural and community-driven architectural design.
“In 2013, our founding year, we submitted entries to five competitions. All of them got a prize – it was an amazing series of designs. We had to stop celebrating, so we started toasting with Rivella. Then we won Kaserne, and switched back to champagne.”
The firm is currently working on a 9,000 square meters transformation of the Kaserne Cultural Centre, one of the most relevant Swiss cultural projects in a decade. Uniting two previously separate spaces on the Rhine River in central Basel, the refurbishment will provide the city with a contemporary, multifunctional cultural facility and a new public plaza. The construction of this flagship project started in October 2018. The studio is furthermore working on the transformation of a private home, exhibition design, and urban design.
Among the firm’s completed work is Parterre One, a revolutionary concert hall completed in 2017. Its diversified events spaces act as a cultural multiplier in Basel’s already vibrant environment. “To be able to build a concert hall is a fantastic experience. The client wanted to have something special – we were more than happy to deliver that.” Two further projects have recently been completed: Parterre One Restaurant, adjacent to Kaserne, and a new community meeting space in Basel.
The grass-roots Guerrilla Projects are a series of smaller-scale commissions comprised of cultural spaces, gastronomy, and public interventions. This ongoing series includes several completed projects such as Kaschemme (2014), Jukebox (2015), Altes Kraftwerk (2017) or Nebel Bar (2018), rising out of the firm’s approach to a non-hierarchical collaboration and exchange between client, contractor, architect, and the public.
“An ecological future can only be achieved through means of collaboration. A community-driven architecture through collaboration is a means of promoting public and cultural projects.”
Guerrilla Projects embody an architecture where authorship is shared in a cross-pollinating network, and public and cultural projects contribute back to the community.
FDR Studio combines forward-thinking solutions with a profound understanding of each project’s environment and context. It operates between the cooperative logic of the sharing economy as well as within the more traditional approaches of large-scale architectural realization. Its work is built on the idea that architecture is not only a civic service, or an artistic discipline, but also a cultural activator that will inspire current and future generations.