BIS Administration Building or Bank BIZ, Aeschenplatz

Mario Botta

Front facade

Botta's practice spans the world. (See the San Francisco Museum of Art on this site.) But this renowned Swiss architect (from the Swiss canton of Ticino) designed two buildings in Basel, this bank building and the Tinguely Museum north of the Rhine in Basel. Botta won the competition held in 1986 to develop the building for UBS, which subsequently sold to Bank BIZ. Like many of his designs, this one uses a simple geometric form--here the rotunda, and striped masonry for visual interest. The 28 metre structure has six storeys above ground and another six below ground. A light well rises from the floor to the roof. A 'negative staircase' opens in the front, which narrows as it rises.

Works Cited or Consulted: Lutz Windhöfel. Architectural Guide Basel. Basel: Birkhaüser, 2008.

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