The 140-year-old building of the main post office in Basel needs to be renovated. The Axa Investment Foundation, as the owner, lifts the veil on the renovation by star architects Herzog & de Meuron.
Basel star architects Herzog & de Meuron can get started on their latest project right at their doorstep.
The AXA Investment Foundation, as the owner, has received the building permit for the renovation of Basel’s main post office, it announced in a media release.
Covered inner courtyard
The approximately 140-year-old building of the former main post office in the middle of Basel’s old town needs extensive renovation. The renovation of Basel’s main post office is intended to highlight the character of the well-known building.
According to the plans, the entire first floor is to be made more open. The centerpiece will now be a light-flooded, covered inner courtyard.
In addition, the passageway between Gerbergasse and Freie Strasse, which until last fall served as a private delivery point for the Swiss Post Office, is to become a publicly accessible passageway with direct access to the stores on the first floor and to the upper floors.
Originals from 14th century
As part of the redesign, the commissioned Basel architectural firm Herzog & de Meuron, in close dialogue with the monument protection authorities, pointed to the existing original plans as well as stored medieval building elements in the archives of the main post office.
These include six ancient stone arches that were once part of an arcade. The originals date from the 14th century and the replicas from a 19th century reconstruction.
Thus, the historical building is to be revived in its former form. The six built-in stone arches completed the passage together with the Gothic portal still on site in front of the existing passage, Axa Insurance further said about the plans.
The architects, however, want to remove floors five and six of the main post office. As a result, the height of the building will be slightly lower than today. As muula.ch knows from a reliable source, the lighting conditions in offices on the upper floor were not ideal anyway.
The new gable roof blends in with the surrounding roofscape and features an all-around terrace with glazing that provides a panoramic view of the old town.
Saving on post offices?
How the light-flooded space will be used in the future, however, is still open. On the first floor of the main post office, however, around 1,500 m2 of retail space will be created, some of which will be 9 meters high.
The five upper floors with a view rooftop would offer an additional 5,000 m2 for modern offices and other service areas.
According to the communiqué, it is planned to hand over the building to the new tenants in spring 2025 and to reopen the doors of the main post office to the public.
It is to be hoped that the two Postfinance ATMs that were previously located on the first floor of the building will not simply disappear, as so many ATMs have already done in downtown Basel.