TYROLIT ‘CUTS UP’ FOR Erlenmatt's Haus für Kosmopolitisches in Basel

Published 23/11 at 15:57

A new city district is currently under construction to revitalise the Erlenmatt East area in the north of the Swiss city of Basel.

The former silo, which dates back to 1912, and was originally used for storing grain and cocoa beans, is being converted into a cultural and gastronomic attraction. It will form the centrepiece of the ‘Haus für Kosmopolitisches (‘house for cosmopolitans’), being an open lounge, where accommodation, restaurants, studios and working spaces will be established.

The new sociocultural meeting point is expected to open its doors at the end of 2019. It is owned by the Habitat Foundation, operated by the ‘Verein für Kosmopolitisches’ (‘association for cosmopolitans’) and was designed by the Harry Gugger Studio in Basel.

The original freestanding silo forms part of an earlier reinforced concrete building which, as part of the urban development, is now being integrated into a linear development. The characteristic silo chambers are being retained. The team from the Swiss construction company ERNE AG has ensured that the large portholes, doors and other openings contribute to the brightness and transparency of the structure.

A total of 20 portholes, each with a diameter of 2,600mm, were cut out using Tyrolit CCE25 circular wire saws with WX-15 drive components. The varying thicknesses of the side walls, which were 150mm thick in the upper area, and thicker on one side towards the ground, required a special supporting structure, which was specially fabricated by ERNE. The cutting work was particularly challenging in strong winds, as the drift of the concrete dust cloud onto the adjacent motorway had to be prevented.

To perform the cutting work for doors on the partition walls, the new Tyrolit WSE1621, WSE1217 and WSE811 wall saws were used. Wall sections measuring 1,470 x 1,900mm and door sections measuring 735 x 950mm were cut out from the 100 year old, 150mm thick concrete. Here, the team from ERNE had to work very carefully and cleanly, as the concrete and cutting areas remain permanently visible. Even the issue of dewatering via the neutralisation plane was well resolved by ERNE, with much of the cutting work was performed using the recently launched WSE1621.

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