Basel area



HIRT kinetics®
  • XL
Landscape architecture
  • Piet Oudolf, Hummelo
Interior design
  • Davia Koetser Bespoke Interiors
Project partner
  • Hirt Metallbau AG
Project management
  • Gerster Project Management AG
Construction management
  • Wenger Partner
  • Apix

A new sense of naturalness in urban space

Undreamt-of freedom achieved via a silent disappearance – although this might sound a bit like magic, it is possible thanks to the sophisticated technical know-how of HIRT moving architecture®. With HIRT kinetics®, you will experience a new feeling of openness and space.

Inviting nature into urban space

This town house in Basel can probably best be described as “reservedly elegant”. With this modern villa, the architectural office Wild Bär Heule Architekten AG created an iconic monument to its own expertise. The client wanted a representative residence which offers sufficient privacy, provides an appropriate stage for the display of art and at the same time brings a piece of nature back into the urban environment.

100 % barrier-free: When lowered, the retractable fronts by HIRT kinetics® disappear seamlessly into the ground. No barrier remains to mar the transition towards the outside.

An indoor pool which adjusts to the weather: When it’s nice outside, it transforms into an outdoor pool in the blink of an eye. The elements of water and air thus merge together.

Sounds impossible?
Not for this team.

Vertical offsets give clever structure to this modern architecture. Yet still the voluminous building, oriented towards the impressive city panorama extending southward, appears airy and precise. Additionally, the architects were given the task to capture as much natural light as possible and thereby also to implement a Scandinavian way of living – after all, “hygge” is much more than a buzzword.

The architectural concept also incorporates other timeless styles: Subtle echoes of mid-century modernism are omnipresent. This style with origins in the USA is characterised by clear lines, soft organic curves, and geometric shapes. But unlike in the USA, where bright accent colours are popular, here the architects, interior, and landscape designers favoured more muted shades.

The materials used are as natural as possible. In this way, everything appears as if made from one piece, radiating a special harmony. Architectural bronze, which amongst others characterizes the entrance area, creates a feeling of noblesse. It looks elegant without appearing excessive.

HIRT kinetics® retractable fronts makes corner windows possible. Rooms can thus open up on several sides at once.

A roof garden is only one of the surprises

The house’s secret star is the roof garden designed by landscape architect Piet Oudolf. With its natural wildness, it provides an appropriate setting for the architectural ensemble and a number of the art objects displayed here. The atmosphere in the garden changes over and over throughout the seasons, unleashing an unmistakable dynamic which is picked up in unexpected places.

One example of this is the pool house. Its sliding glass panels not only serve as a mirror for gorgeous reflections – but also hold a special secret which is revealed at the press of a button: They are no ordinary sliding panels which run on rails. Rather, these glass walls are HIRT kinetics® retractable fronts, which are set on a finely balanced supporting structure and can be raised and lowered silently. Thanks to the ideal speed – neither too fast nor too slow – this creates an impression of graceful weightlessness. Anyone who sees this “spectacle” for the first time is left speechless before asking themselves: Why hasn’t this problem always been solved so elegantly?

When raised, the window fronts serve as a perfect surface for gorgeous reflections.

Life is dynamic – why shouldn’t architecture be the same?

HIRT moving architecture® continuously looks at architecture from different perspectives and thus finds new approaches to further improve the tried and tested. Why are so many things static when our life is constantly in motion? Water flows, time elapses, and clouds pass by. What really happens when the familiar suddenly becomes flexible? The answer is: New horizons open up and touch people’s hearts!

When the Basel villa’s sliding glass panels are lowered, the indoor pool transforms into an outdoor one in the blink of an eye. This change is all the more spectacular because the retractable fronts disappear seamlessly into the ground: No barrier remains to mar the view of the beautiful natural garden. The inside becomes the outside. Here, the grass rustles in the wind, reminding the listener of the sound of beach grass in the dunes. In moments like these, the day-to-day life in Switzerland is very far away, while a holiday feeling with its perfect tranquillity seems suddenly within reach. To bring a piece of nature back into urban spaces is a delight for the soul.

With HIRT kinetics® retractable fronts, it is possible to form both straight surfaces as well as corners. This effect, called “structural glazing”, emphasises cubic designs in particular and allows rooms to open up in two directions at once. In addition, the sliding glass panels are almost frameless and extend all the way from floor to ceiling. Such optical tricks underline the sense of perfection and reinforce a feeling of vast and boundless space.

The possibilities created by HIRT moving architecture® are always surprising and nearly endless. Incidentally, the proven HIRT technology can do more than lower windows – doors and even entire walls can be made to vanish just as easily.

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