Open Call RESERVOIR Architekturwoche Basel

Join the second edition of Architekturwoche Basel happening from September 7–14, 2024, titled Spatial Affairs.
Application deadline: March 22, 2024, 5:59pm CET

In 2022, Basel’s architecture biennial challenged designers to craft a building solely from reused materials. Now, in our second installment, we delve into the impact of the built environment on the climate crisis again for obvious reasons, posing in this open call the broader question about transformation: How do we infuse the existing with new purpose? Can we adapt what’s already there with minimal effort and energy, breathing contemporary life into structures that have lost their original intent?
Our focus on the planetary crisis resonates through the lens of the local context—engaging spatially, experimenting, and seeking questions and answers with tangible impact. The canvas for this exploration is a hidden infrastructure at Dreispitz in Basel, we named the RESERVOIR, which, despite having partially lost its original purpose, remains culturally and functionally tied to the area’s history.
During the end of summer 2024, the RESERVOIR will serve as an imaginative space for discussion, exhibition, and a laboratory for ideas and experiments. This open call invites visionary minds from various disciplines, extending beyond architects to include teams and individuals in transversal fields. We invite you to submit your creative visions for the adaptation of the RESERVOIR—whether spatial, display-related, or proposing new uses—to breathe life into this space during AWB’24.


The RESERVOIR, situated as a multi-story car park in Dreispitz, holds a Basel history. Originally constructed as a reaction to the Schweizerhalle fires of 1986, it stands as a contemporary witness to Basel’s recent past. The basins of the RESERVOIR were initially designed to collect contaminated extinguishing water from Dreispitz, emphasizing the awareness of massive chemical fires and their connection to the waterways in the city. Despite losing their original purpose, these basins, along with a circular void formed by the access ramp, remain part of the car park’s structure.


In September 2024, during AWB’24, spatial, cultural, and social interventions will co-exist with the RESERVOIR’s everyday users. This open call encourages architects and planners and also artists, cultural workers, collectives, and socially active groups to imagine interdisciplinary projects. We seek ideas that can bring short-term realization while embodying a long-term vision, either addressing specific spatial elements, functional peculiarities, new uses, or social interactions.

Who and when

We invite innovative minds—engineers, architects, designers, artists, scientists, economists, and more, both Swiss and international—to contribute to this transformative project.
The deadline for the open call is March 22, 2024, 5:59pm CET. Successful candidates will be informed by April 5, 2024. The selected teams will participate in a competition, with the intervention opening in September 2024 alongside the inauguration of AWB’24.

How to apply

To apply, submit basic information about your team members and a short CV/profile, along with your project title and an A3 PDF file presenting your idea.
Let’s explore the potential of existing structures and hidden infrastructures for a future that embraces creativity, sustainability, and adaptability. Email your submissions to reservoir@architekturwochebasel.ch.
Join us in shaping a new narrative for the RESERVOIR, more details on the open call to be found here.

Architekturwoche Basel: Anneke Abhelakh, Wolfgang Hockenjos
in collaboration with
Malheur&Fortuna GmbH: Noël Picco, Lukas Stadelmann
Video: Sarah Basar Santamaria
With the support of Christoph Merian Foundation