New glamour with "Messe Basel Plus"
Published on 7/22/2016 by
At the start of the 1990s, Basel's venerable old exhibition halls were not really competitive any more, particularly since enormous investments had been made in new exhibition premises in a large number of locations in Switzerland and abroad. In order to survive in the face of national and international competition, the "Messe Basel Plus" concept was drawn up as a concept for the future.
This concept was closely linked to the fundamental decision to keep the Basel exhibition site at its existing location. Once this decision had been taken, the ideas put forward the end of the 1980s and start of the 1990s for constructing a completely new exhibition site just over the border in France or Germany were finally abandoned.
This commitment to an "exhibition site in the city" simultaneously entailed a commitment to the necessary modernisation of the infrastructure, i.e. the old halls along Riehenring.
First of all, new delivery zones were built for the hall complexes. In 1998/1999, the old exhibition halls, with their two festival halls, which were located behind the "Kopfbau" building, were replaced by the "glass hall" by architect Theo Hotz. The 210-metre long hall, which cost CHF 164 million, had to be erected in record time, between two watch and jewellery shows.
Between 2001 and 2003, the exhibition tower building was then constructed to a design by architect Morger & Degelo and Daniele Marques. Originally intended to be 90 metres high, the building grew to 105 metres and has been a landmark of the city of Basel ever since. By the way: the tower is located on precisely the spot that Hans Hofmann had earmarked for a twelve-storey tower block in the 1950s.