Heading to Basel any time soon (the next Art Basel is June 19-22)? Last spring, Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron finished work restoring a classic 1925 building in the heart of the city. Volkshaus Basel, a onetime concert hall, now houses a bar, brasserie, and concert space, with a hotel coming next. The world-renowned architects went to great lengths to restore the former grandeur of the space, which had been aesthetically compromised during a 1970s renovation. The architects stripped the building back to its original frame and restored the original height of the rooms while preserving as much of the original detailing as possible. Using a black and white palette, the decidedly modern decor successfully restores an air of Old World glamor.
Above: The design of the chairs are based on the original Volkshaus chair model.
Above: Bentwood stools arrayed in front of the bar and the floor is tiled in a fan pattern.
Above: Thick hand blown LED pendants are a modern take on chandeliers.
Above: Metal-topped dining tables. The architects chose materials such as metal, leather, and wood that will gain a weathered patina over time.
Above: A table setting with embossed leather cover.
Above: Wallpaper with 17th century etchings are used in the antechambers of the restrooms and hark back to the early days of Basel, when this area was a medieval manor.
Above: On the wall, a mural provides a guide to all the Volkshaus ventures. For more information, go to Volkshaus Basel.
Location of Volkshaus:
N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on May 15, 2013 as part of our issue, The Gold Coast.
Want some Swiss simplicty for your own rooms? Have a look at Golden Biscotti’s Paper, Wood, and Clay Designs.