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The Biozentrum has a new future-oriented home

Mid 2021, the Biozentrum moved into its new home to continue fostering its world class research. The “Beacon of Science” houses 400 researchers from around the world and also a large range of highly sensitive scientific installations. For the university, a lecture hall capacity for 900 students has being created.

A new highlight has been added to the Basel skyline: the recently completed 73-meter Biozentrum tower designed by the architects Ilg Santer. When the sun shines on its chrome steel and glass facade, the building is transformed into a beacon in both the visual as well as the figurative sense. The three-storey entrance hall with its design structure inspired by water lilies offers an exciting contrast to the functional layout of the laboratory tower, providing an attractive social space, with its freely accessible outside area complete with seating and water features. In addition to the Biozentrum, the new building houses lecture halls and seminar rooms for 900 university students, as well as the Bacells' restaurant and the public Kaffi Biozentrum. 

Research levels
Of the building’s 19 levels – 16 above ground and three below – ten are dedicated to research projects involving around 400 employees, along with the research facilities in the basement levels. Adjacent floors are joined by an open staircase and a meeting zone to promote scientific exchange, as especially in interdisciplinary research – the bedrock of the Biozentrum – innovative ideas often arise from spontaneous discussions. Also the shared technology platforms are distributed over all the floors, encouraging encounters and informal dialogue.

The setup of the technology platforms, with extremely sensitive scientific equipment, such as a nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer, and the various special hazard laboratories is highly complex. This is because molecular biology research places the highest demands on energy, cooling, temperature stability, pressure conditions, a vibration-free environment, biosafety and much more. The new building is a truly remarkable feat of planning ahead in terms of all the technical conditions it will have to meet in the future. 

Life Sciences Campus of the University of Basel
The Biozentrum tower is a milestone on the way to the Life Sciences Campus of the University of Basel. The campus will be further developed, with new buildings to house the Departments of Biomedicine, the Departments of Science as well as the Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering (D-BSSE) of the ETH Zurich, in the immediate vicinity of the University Hospital Basel and University Children’s Hospital Basel. The concentration at one location, of the 40 sites presently scattered around Basel, will optimize co-operations in research and teaching, promote the exchange of ideas in the life sciences and foster collaborations with industry and newly established businesses in the Basel region.

Life Sciences Cluster Basel
Nearly 800 million Swiss francs will be invested in the Life Sciences Campus for a highly modern infrastructure, in order to create and further an optimal research environment for the various life science areas. For the University of Basel, life sciences is a major focus both in regard to its research activities and international recognition as well as in the fields of study it offers, as it provides trained young scientists for the regional life sciences industry. Along with Novartis and Roche, as well as over 600 life sciences and biotech companies, it is the most important employer in the region, with a high growth rate and a regional added value of 20 percent.