BIS Campus development project

The BIS is planning to develop its headquarters site in Basel.

Currently, about 700 Basel-based BIS staff are split between the site around the Tower building, which was designed by Martin Burckhardt and opened in 1977, and the Mario Botta-designed Botta building at Aeschenplatz. In addition to the Tower, the primary site near Basel's main railway station includes four ageing and inefficient buildings.

Architectural competition

In 2021 the BIS launched an international architectural competition to propose designs to develop its headquarters site. Participants were asked to come up with a design proposal which would replace the ageing buildings and provide a concept for modern facilities to accommodate the enlargement of global meetings and growth in activities as well as create a campus-like work environment for its staff and visitors.

A total of 11 high-quality designs were contributed to the competition. In December 2022, the BIS announced that the 11-member jury unanimously selected a collaboration by the firms ELEMENTAL (Santiago, Chile) and Nissen Wentzlaff Studio (Basel, Switzerland) as the winning design.

The jury lauded the ELEMENTAL/Nissen Wentzlaff Studio design for its innovative and sustainable design. The architects proposed a second tower on the BIS headquarters site which would connect to the existing BIS Tower designed by Martin Burckhardt. The jury felt that the proposed design has potential to enrich the growing skyline of Basel and responds well to planned development in the surrounding neighbourhood. The proposal provides an elegant contrast to the architectural expression of the existing Tower and complements the footprint of Burckhardt's original design. The design was also appreciated for its mixed use of concrete and timber and its "forest"-like facade."

Visualisations of the winning design are provided with courtesy of ELEMENTAL  and Nissen Wentzlaff Studio.

The BIS is grateful to the members of the jury and all of the firms who participated in the competition. 

Planning process

In June 2023 the BIS decided that it will pursue the project to develop its headquarters site and commence a design phase.

During that phase, the detailed design based on the winning proposal from the competition and related planning will take place until 2027. Towards the end of that phase, another decision regarding the construction will be taken.

The BIS is delighted to work with the firms Nissen Wentzlaff Studio (Basel, Switzerland) and ELEMENTAL (Santiago, Chile) to plan the development of the winning design. In the design phase, Nissen Wentzlaff will take on the responsibilities of a General Planner, and along with ELEMENTAL in architecture design. A thorough tendering process to select a General Contractor for the construction phase is expected to be carried out in due time. Please note that individual business requests cannot be answered at this time.

For general queries about the project, please contact

Latest updates

  • 24 January 2024: 

    BIS exhibits design proposals for development of Basel headquarters site. See press release.

  • 25 June 2023: BIS is to pursue the project to develop its headquarters site in Basel, Switzerland and will commence a design phase.
  • 14 December 2022: BIS announces outcome of architectural competition to develop designs to enhance its Basel headquarters site. See press release (English, German, Spanish).
  • 24 September 2021: BIS has invited a shortlist of applicants to participate in the architectural project study. This phase is expected to last until the second half of 2022.
  • 21 June 2021: BIS calls for expressions of interest to develop Basel headquarters. See press release.