BIS Campus development project - 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. The exhibition "From Building to Campus" which took place from 25–30 January 2024 showed all design proposals submitted as part of the competition.

Latest updates

  • 24 January 2024: 

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

  • 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.