Basel approves tallest building in Switzerland

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Basel approves tallest building in Switzerland
Roche's Building 1, which opened in 2015, is currently Switzerland's tallest. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

The city of Basel has approved a plan by pharmaceutical company Roche to build the country’s highest tower.


Roche, which already holds the record with a 178m high building which opened last year, intends to construct a second tower, of 205m, as part of a three billion franc plan to redevelop its headquarters.

On Wednesday Basel authorities approved the construction of the second tower by a large majority, despite criticism from some who saw it as a “demonstration of power” by the company, reported news agencies.

Designed by Basel star architects Herzog & de Meuron, the 550 million-franc tower block will be 50 storeys high and will contain offices.

Once the development project  is completed, the majority of Roche’s 9,000-strong Basel workforce – many of whom currently work elsewhere in the city in rented offices – will be able to work alongside each other on the main site.

The plans also include a new 1.7 billion-franc research centre, due to open by 2022, which will house 950 office staff and 950 laboratory workers.

Prior to the Roche development, the tallest building in Switzerland was the Prime Tower in Zurich, at 128 metres.


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