Former Tradesmen's Bank Basel (Handwerkerbank Basel)

With Lasa marble from boom building to architectural monument

On the Bankenplatz in Basel, on the corner site between Aeschenvorstadt and Elisabethenstrasse, is the building of the former Handwerkerbank (Tradesmen’s Bank) Basel. Completed in 1961, this showpiece building is one of the most representative post-war modernist buildings in Switzerland. A particularly striking feature of the building is the almost complete cladding of the façade with LASA VENATO FIOR DI MELO®, one of the Lasa Marmo commercial varieties.

The building is a testimony to the city-development of the 1950s and 1960s, which was oriented on American models, and is used today as an office and commercial building. The Handwerkerbank, built by architects Alfred Bräuning and Franz Düring between 1958 and 1961, coincides with the era of sustained economic growth that also began in Switzerland after the Second World War. With its projecting main façade, the box-shaped building fits harmoniously into its urban surroundings, which consist mainly of classical buildings. Lasa Marmo, at that time still "Società Anonima Lasa per l'Industria del Marmo", produced large-format façade panels with a thickness of 4 cm. A special feature is the storey-high stone relief created by the Swiss sculptor, painter and draughtsman Bénédict Remund with the distinctive signet of the Handwerkerbank Basel. It was carved out of a leftover boss of the façade cladding made of LASA marble and incorporated into the façade on the windowless wall above a covered walkway/portico of the shopping arcade. In 2005, the façades of the listed building were renovated while largely retaining the original appearance.

Project information

Basel, Switzerland, 1958-1961

Product: Facade cladding

Architect: Franz Bräuning, Hans Leu and Arthur Dürig


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