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Caruso St John wins £160m University of Basel job

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Caruso St John has seen off competition from David Chipperfield to design a new biomedicine building at the University of Basel

The 25-year-old practice, which has an office in Zurich, beat five other Switzerland-based finalists to win the job. David Chipperfield Architects had been longlisted for the scheme but missed out on making it onto the shortlist.

Sitting in Basel’s St Johann district, the project will replace the university’s 1971 Biozentrum building and provide space for the department of biomedicine which is currently spread across five different locations in the Swiss city.

The 35,000m² building will provide laboratories, classrooms, and offices bringing the department together on one site.  

The jury, chaired by Basel-based architect Thomas Jung, said the practice had ‘used virtuoso to design a project that surprises in conciseness and self-reliance.’

Construction is expected to begin in 2019, after the Biozentrum building on the site is demolished and the project is set to complete in 2024.


The shortlist

  • Caruso St John
  • Morger + Dettli Architekten
  • Nissen Wentzlaff Architects
  • Nissen Wentzlaff Architects
  • Markus Schietsch Architekten
  • Architect Krischanitz
  • Harry Gugger Studio

The longlist

  • David Chipperfield Architects
  • Christ & Gantenbein Architects
  • Burckhardt + Partner
  • Ludes general planner
  • Fiechter & Salzmann Architekten
  • Schneider & Schneider Architekten
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