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Basel, Switzerland
Fall 2020 (half semester)
Partner Siying Han
Instructor Simon Hartmann, Simon Frommenwiler & Tilo Herlach (HHF)
Academic, Architecture Option Studio, Harvard GSD


A Continuous Public Ground is a critical position and flexible approach towards the challenging urban fabrics in relation to the imbalance among land uses and in demand of economic growth. The intention is to create a continuation of the public quality generated through the exhibitions, in the meanwhile maintaining the site as a crucial part of the economic engine after the ‘party’. In terms of the shrinking of the exhibition industries and the big background in demand of economic recovery, two main characters will be designated on site: ‘the consumed’ and ‘the consumer’. 

‘The consumed’ will be the expansion of commercial real estate which generates economic and employment growth, in a traditional scope. ‘The consumer’ will be an element of flexibility added on top of the traditional living environment – the recreational facilities (including the construction of public activities and commercial exchanges) as both the part of the expansion of commercial real estate, as well as a continuation of the surrounding urban ground, in an international or a communal scope. 

The new hybridizing spaces will not only provide an innovative living experience but also reactivation of the shrinking exhibition ground that submerged residents/visitors in a vortex of recreation and pleasure that encouraged compulsive consumption.

Introduction   01

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Site Condition  02


The common ground is a slope that connects the second level of the exhibition center to the ground level. Despite plantations and curvature footpath, the interactions between the interior and exterior are intriguing to the visitors. The exterior sitting spaces can view the interior programs. The slope physically separates the public ground level and upper residential levels from a security perspective, but it also brings different people together to encourage more communications and cultural interchanges.

03  Common Ground

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Unfolded Section  04


The composition of the building can be considered as three levels in the vertical directions. Public programs at the bottom and residential parts at the top. Common ground in between them is an outdoor landscaped public space.

Within each level, multiple shared components are inserted. They provide different programs to different types of users. These shared spaces can increase the opportunity for communications between the residents, local people, and visitors. 

05  Residential Components

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