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The southeast-facing façade of the new affordable apartment building in Basel, which was adapted from the Coop wine storage facility, expresses an eclectic character, with operable shades in terracotta and a light green metal frame system and railings.

Over its more than 70 years, the building that most recently housed the Coop wine storage warehouse in Lysbüchel, a former industrial zone of Basel, has taken on many guises. Each has left its own traces and scars. Sometime in the 1970s, for instance, the gable roof was torn off, the building was extended upward and outward, and its facade was completely clad in somber beige corrugated aluminum sheeting. All of this is history now: The warehouse has been radically transformed into vibrant and affordable housing.

Esch Sintzel, the Zurich firm that adapted the structure to its latest identity, has envisaged it as a city within a building — with long rues intérieures, inspired by Le Corbusier, where residents can interact with one...

From Wine Storage Building to Winning Affordable Apartments in Basel

In Basel, the architecture firm Esch Sintzel transforms a drab wine storage warehouse into a vibrant affordable housing building – and demonstrates how adaptive re-use can breathe new life into former industrial neighbourhoods.

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