Novartis WSJ 153
Flexible plan layout: the new laboratory building is part of the Novartis company site to the north of Basel. The Swiss pharmaceutical company is developing the former disused production facility into a research and academic campus. A master plan by Vittorio Magnago Lampugnani has adopted the principle of the “City in the City” as its guiding idea. Office and laboratory buildings are placed along a factory access road that cuts through the area to form a new main axis. The new building lies opposite the central green space on this axis.
The building is designed by Rafael Moneo as a house in a house. It accommodates a 300-seat restaurant on its ground floor, while its upper floors contain facilities for research, development and process technology. The laboratories are located in the interior areas of the storeys and are reached through outer offices and inspection areas. Spacious, light corridors along the windows connect the departments together and allow a high degree of flexibility in the layout of the central zones. The main façade showcases a steel lattice beam on the ground floor. Behind the beam is a spacious arcade whose striking sweep also emerges in the upper floors and largely determines the spatial effect and functionality of the building.