The famous Swiss architects Jean Herzog and Pierre de Meuron used the project for the reconstruction of the Basel exhibition complex as an excuse to rethink the urban planning role of this object and the area on which it is located. In order for the complex to be as little self-contained as possible (the specificity of the exhibition business often contributes to this), the architects carefully thought out the location of the new building - built between the existing building and a multi-level indoor parking, it forms a new alley leading to Messe Platz.
A covered pedestrian bridge connecting it with a neighbor on the second floor helped to organize a new multifunctional city-wide space, large enough to accommodate many cafes and shops, and at the same time cozy and intimate, as well as reliably protected from precipitation and too bright sun. The created space was named "City Lounge" and should attract not only participants of the expositions held here, but also ordinary citizens and tourists to the area of the exhibition center.
The exhibition pavilions themselves - the new building and the existing one, which has undergone a comprehensive reconstruction - are decided by the architects as volumes of an extremely simple layout, with a minimum of load-bearing supports and ceilings with a height of at least 10 m.
As for the actual architectural design of these buildings, here Herzog and de Meuron, on the contrary, tried to avoid the generally accepted interpretation of exhibition pavilions as blank "boxes". The first floors of new buildings in Basel are completely glazed, the upper ones are faced with openwork aluminum mesh, and each next level is shifted relative to the lower one in such a way that the buildings acquire several expressive consoles. Thanks to this technique, the buildings are perceived differently from each new point, and the unusual facade cladding not only gives such an architectonics additional expressiveness, but also protects the exhibition halls from the direct sun.