The Aktienmühle is an important part of Kleinbasel’s Klybeck district. A former historic mill from 1898 is reconfigured as an anchor and a catalyst for sustainable neighbourhood development envisioned in the near future. The re-design follows the recent trajectory of the site, which has become a popular neighbourhood meeting place for young and old with its temporary uses for the past several years. Artisanal workshops and small businesses, as well as gastronomic and cultural offerings complete the new constellation, where the outdoor space plays a vital role.
With the requirements for a robust workshop environment, the northern and eastern parts adopt the atmosphere of the functionality of the former industrial use. Ruderal vegetation, hard-wearing pavement and an alfresco workshop dominate here. Visitors arrive via the distinctive semi-permeable concrete pavers that lead from the garden area in front of the gatehouse towards the inner courtyard with the main entrances of the workshops and the restaurant. Artisanal charm is contrasted with opulence in the southern part, where a green neighbourhood oasis runs along the existing wall. A place for leisure and recreation is created with lush planting, while also leaving space for one’s own vegetable patch. Spacious area for year-round events and exhibitions is provided by the graveled square with barbecue and play area – a dynamic platform strongly influenced by the past interim use.
The open space harkens back to the historical significance of the industrial past while also creating robust areas for various craft businesses and their logistical needs. The outdoor workshop in the east functions as an interface among different users, and can still be utilized individually. Existing elements, such as the restored wooden shed, are integrated into the opulent planting in the courtyard.
Wackensteine – cobblestones of alpine riverbed origin – and green paving joints signalize the site’s proximity to the Rhine, and, together with the planting, create a pleasant microclimate. In this way, the design honors the past history, ensures today’s functioning, and presents a future vision for the surrounding neighborhood with its active and multi-faceted landscape.
Landscape Architecture: Bryum
Other designers involved in the design of landscape: Metron Architektur AG
Project location: Gärtnerstrasse, Basel, Switzerland
Design and Execution year: 2015-2017