Proposal by HHF and Burckhardt + Partner for the new Basel Aquarium. Zoo Basel is embedded in the city and used as a park by residents and visitors. The redesigning of the green area Nachtigallenwäldeli and the construction of the new Ozeanium, an ocean aquarium, on the Heuwaage are bringing the zoo and the park area even closer to the city center, to form an attractive living environment and recreational area. The proposed Ozeanium accommodates the scale of the surrounding buildings, such as the Rialto swimming pool, the market hall and the tall buildings on the city ring. The striking, con!dent construction volume is a clear indication of what an attraction this will be, enriching the city in a central location.
The roof and facade are homogenous in terms of the materials and the language of forms: exposed concrete, horizontally graduated by rough boarding and with sediment-like exogenous inclusions. The archaic building is riddled with differently sized openings and recesses, making it possible to ascertain the most important themes from the outside. Some of the spherical indentations in the building volume are planted with vegetation and serve as habitat for birds and small animals.
In the Ozeanium’s dome-like entrance area, which is open on all sides, the gigantic weight of the masses of water above it becomes apparent. All of the building’s important functions can already be seen directly from here. A ramp leads down to the foyer and elevators; passages and staircases lead to the bar, the temporary exhibition and the museum shop. Everything for which the building is used can be accessed directly from the entrance area on foot, by wheelchair, or with a baby buggy. This public area is protected from the elements, but in terms of climate, it is an outdoor area, which is closed off at night by means of a grating.