"Absolutely unique to be allowed to rebuild such a venerable building"

24.02.2023 | Bern

Website Visu neue Festhalle 3
Daniel Neuenschwander News Website 20230224

Daniel Neuenschwander, what role is HRS playing in connection with the new Festhalle in Bern?

HRS developed the project together with Messepark AG and BERNEXPO, coordinated the planning including the building application and determined the costs. Once the building permit has been issued and the contract has been approved, we will be able to take on the execution work as a total contractor with a full cost and schedule guarantee. HRS is also an investor together with Mobiliar, Securitas and Visana.

What is the schedule for the construction of the new festival hall?

At the moment, HRS is laying the work lines in preparation for the subsequent excavation of the parking hall. On 15 May - after the BEA and the Grand Prix Bern - we will take over the building. After the pollutant clean-up and demolition, the actual construction work will start in July 2023 and last until BEA 2025.

What does it mean for you to be able to carry out this work?

It is something absolutely unique to be allowed to rebuild such a venerable building. The festival hall on the BERNEXPO site, which was built in 1948 as a temporary structure, has seen countless renowned concerts and events for three quarters of a century. Now it is being further developed for the present day and, as a multifunctional hall, will enhance Bern, the region and the whole of Switzerland as a trade fair and concert venue.

What challenges had to and still have to be mastered to ensure that the step into the future is a success?

The building was developed under considerable cost pressure - on the basis of clear cost specifications from the investors - and yet has a high architectural quality. In the realisation we will be under very high time pressure so that already the BEA 2025 with all its requirements can be carried out in the new building.

Further information can be found on the website of the new festival hall and in the media release of 20 February

Daniel Neuenschwander is a qualified architect FH and heads the HRS branch office in Gümligen.