Odd Fellow-Haus

housing and office building Basel

One can understand the guiding principles of the Odd Fellows as a pursuit of coherence. The values of mindfulness, respect, candour and tolerance towards other opinions and different cultures and religions, all aim at the constructive cohesion of civil society.

It seems to be a special coincidence that the project for the new construction of the Odd Fellow House is the challenge of creating coherence. Both the urban framework conditions (collision of zones 4 and 6 in a building complex) and the different programmatic requirements evoke a bipartite nature, which must be overcome.

So we opted for an architectural gesture that blurs the zone transition while making the identity of the Odd clearly legible. In the so-defined plinth, the diverse spaces of the Odd Fellows are cancelled and give this on a first level a generous character.

The superposition by the housing is actually shown on the plinth. The small-scale structure of residential use gives the plinth in the form of pilaster its external character. The mouldings in turn express the different levels of the plinth structure. In combination with the cut-outs of the two entrances, the significant spaces of the Odd Fellows, the hall and the refectories, are expressed on the façade.

The pilaster strips and mouldings deliberately create asymmetric crosses in the entrances. These additionally mark the entrances and make them legible as significant cuts in the building volume. At the same time, the volumes of the small refectory and the hall can be experienced through the entrance into the building.