michele de lucchi + AMDL circular wrap novartis center with self-powered front

AMDL CIRCLE designs circular Pavillon for Campus Basel

Designed by AMDL Circle and Michele De Lucchi, The Novartis Pavillon is a ring-shaped structure and the new home of an education and information center in Basel, Switzerland. Overlooking the banks of the Rhine River, the resulting building functions as a self-contained art installation amidst the lush parkland, just steps away from the Novartis Campus.

The project features a color-changing technological facade that entices the curiosity of passers-by to come closer and discover what’s inside. As a symbol of education, knowledge and exploration, its powerful silhouette was inspired by the universal symbolism of the circle which represents the concepts of wholeness and wholeness.

This innovative and welcoming architecture is open to the public and emerges as a gathering hub where different disciplines and sectors meet. With a diameter of more than 40 meters, the exterior is covered by a single roof, which itself becomes a communication tool. During the night, the envelope lights up with dynamic animations, appearing as a beacon for the area.

all images by Rasmus Hjortshoj

A place freely accessible to the community

In 2017, the Studio based in Milan was chosen to design the new building following an international design competition
organized by the medical company under the direction of Vittorio Magnago Lampugnani. The architecture gently integrates into the park designed by Gunther Vogt and is open to the public through different accesses: from the Campus, from the pedestrian walkway that runs along the river and from the parking lot.

Thanks to its hilltop location, the structure of AMDL Circle and Michele De Lucchi does not interfere with the harmony of the park’s paths, but instead, enjoys impressive views of the natural environment. Meanwhile, the corridors formed under the building appear as a symbolic gesture representing the integration between the different worlds of medicine and society. michele de lucchi + AMDL circular wrap novartis center on base with self-powered front

an active learning experience that doubles as an art installation

Novartis booth interior

The ring shape is spread over two levels with a mezzanine. The ground floor creates a warm welcome for visitors, as well as hosting spaces for teaching, meetings and events. Adjacent to the entrance foyer is a bar and check-in area that features an informal and flexible space that encourages interaction, holds events and hosts visiting groups.

The team used acoustic curtains to separate the spaces and the wide range of digital technologies makes it a model state-of-the-art information center. The green-grey color palette is informed by the park’s natural hues. The mezzanine houses a media theater with stair seating and acts as an intermediate space between the two floors. The upper level includes the exhibition space with a circular and fluid gallery without dividing elements and walls. Visitors can experience the display along a circular route, passing through four sections that occupy the entire perimeter.

Lighting techniques play an essential role throughout the design. The ground floor contains no walls but a 360 degree window, all around, through which daylight floods the space creating a harmonious balance with the outside. The upper level space exudes a completely different atmosphere, with artificial lights running along the underside of the gabled ceiling and blending with the brightness and vibrancy of the video screens positioned along the wall. The result sees a unique environment, immersing visitors in the world of science, research and knowledge development.

michele de lucchi + AMDL circular wrap novartis center with self-powered front

the structure does not interfere with the harmony of the park’s paths

a communicating facade

The innovative facade includes a multimedia membrane covering the upper part of the Pavillon, which is technologically equipped to transmit relevant and meaningful images. AMDL Circle conducted a series of parametric design studies to find the optimal geometry and graphic design for the facade, which was then designed by iArt.

Double-sided organic photovoltaic panels fused with LED lights were placed in a diagonal grid placed 50 cm above the metal roof. The system is self-powered, introducing a zero-energy facade and providing a huge continuous display visible from every direction.

Novartis launched a competition for digital artists, where Daniel Canogar, Esther Hunziker and Semi Conductor were nominated and then collaborated with scientists to develop light installations inspired by the shapes and colors of cells and molecules, as well as the themes of sustainability and the convergence of art and science.

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