Messe Basel (Exhibition Centre)


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An architectural gem for Basel

Basel is considered to be the most important exhibition location in Switzerland and is at the same time one of the most important in Europe. BASELWORLD, the largest watch and jewellery fair worldwide, and ART BASEL, an internationally-renowned trade fair for contemporary art, bring Messe Basel worldwide recognition.
The new building, opened in 2013, was designed by the famous architects Herzog & de Meuron and perfectly combines functionality and aesthetics. The upper part of the building consists of two superimposed halls, which project into the street space to different extents. The ground floor is mainly glazed to achieve spatial transparency, the desired openness of the hall complex and a dynamic public life.
From the middle of the City Lounge, visitors look intriguingly through a circular opening which penetrates the two upper floors. This atrium, ''a window to heaven'' as it is affectionately called by the architects, makes the new building an impressive signature design for both Herzog & de Meuron and HRS alike.

Perfect teamwork from everyone involved in the project

Building the exhibition halls in Basel was the largest construction project HRS had undertaken up until then. Messe Basel placed high demands on the project management, because the various requirements of an exhibition centre of this dimension are enormous. The greatest challenge proved to be the tight schedule. The construction process had to be planned in such a way that trade fairs and events could still take place without special constraints, which demanded a high level of flexibility from all those involved. At peak times, there were around 1,200 workers on the construction site at any given time. An average of 20 lorries per hour were on the road to make deliveries to the site. HRS set up a temporary storage facility and a checkpoint for the disposition of the lorries at the Port of Basel to deal with this.

There was hardly any space on the inner-city construction site, which was surrounded by busy roads and tram lines. HRS therefore opted for the so-called vertical construction method and divided the project into 22 stages. Construction was carried out with the help of eleven stationary construction cranes and an average of six mobile cranes. During the construction phase, one person alone was responsible for updating the schedule and logistics on an ongoing basis.


MCH Messe Schweiz (Basel) AG, Basel

Services rendered by HRS
Design to cost and sole contractor with full cost, quality and deadline guarantee.

Herzog & de Meuron Basel Ltd., Basel

Plot size
83,000 sqm

Total cost
CHF 430 million

Construction period
June 2010 – April 2013


HRS Real Estate AG
Hochbergerstrasse 60c
4057 Basel

+41 58 122 84 00

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