Built circular economy — BASEL ECONOMY

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Museum expansion by Rapp near Basel

For many years, the cooperative Swiss energy company Primeo Energie has operated its own electricity museum with courses and offers for children at its headquarters in Münchenstein in the canton of Basel-Landschaft. On the occasion of the 125th anniversary of the cooperative, which was originally founded as Elektra Birseck Münchenstein EBM, the museum building was renovated. The commissioned Rapp office from Basel was also to build the new “Primeo Energie Kosmos Science and Experience Center”, which opened at the end of October 2022.

What is special about the new building is that more than two thirds of its components are either reused or made from recycled or renewable raw materials. With its sustainability concept, the office was already able to convince with its center for student initiatives at the ETH Zurich. The Structural Xploration Lab at EPFL Lausanne was also involved as a research partner. The landscape architecture comes from Bryum, also from Basel.

The topics of climate protection, energy and sustainability form the programmatic focus of the Science Museum with interactive offers, especially for schoolchildren of all ages. The implementation of such topics with regard to the building was therefore obvious. The old high-voltage pylons, which were bought as scrap material and converted into pergolas, are particularly striking. They encase the wooden cube as a steel lattice structure and trellis for shading climbing plants.

The three-storey building with a roof terrace on a square floor plan is a pure timber skeleton construction with large spans and visible beam and ceiling structure. Staircase coverings, wooden floorboards, partition walls and a large steel spiral staircase come from demolition projects. Elements of the interior design, including washbasins, fittings or lamps, could be procured from a component exchange, the tiles come from remaining stock or discarded production. The facade cladding of the timber construction also consists of leftover material or offcuts from other construction sites.

The experimental re-use building is part of a Switzerland-wide study by the Federal Office of Energy on the circular economy. Their economic and ecological effects on the entire life cycle of construction projects are examined. (uav)

Photos: Beat Ernst

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