The Most Impressive Buildings in Basel, Switzerland

Roche Tower aka Building 1 | © Christian Allinger / Flickr
Roche Tower aka Building 1 | © Christian Allinger / Flickr
Photo of Sean Mowbray
17 August 2017

Basel, Switzerland’s third largest city, has a rich historical past and is also home to many wealthy pharmaceutical companies, making it a hot spot for interesting architecture. Here are the most impressive buildings that you should look out for.

Roche Tower

At 178 metres high, the Roche Tower is the tallest building in Switzerland. It was completed in September 2015 and overtook Zurich’s Prime Tower which stands at 126 metres. The building cost 550 million Swiss Francs to build and was funded the Roche, the pharmaceutical giant that has its headquarters in Switzerland. The sky-scraping building is rather flatly called “Building 1”, which admittedly is a less impressive feat of creativity.

Grenzacherstrasse 124, Basel, +41-61-688 1111


Building, Library, Museum
Map View
Goetheanum, Dornach
Goetheanum, Dornach | © Rosmarie Voegtli/ Flickr
The Goetheanum stands 10 kilometres outside of Basel in nearby Dornach. It was built for the Anthroposophical Society, a group whose aim is “to nurture the life of the soul”. Inside its bizarre shape is enough space for two performance halls, a library and left over space for the Society members to go about their daily work. Visitors are welcome.


Basel’s Markthalle isn’t just a great place to eat, it’s also a cool piece of architecture in its own right. From the outside it looks a little run down but inside, you can marvel at the massive dome with a glass covered oculus in the centre, while scoffing on some good food.

Steinentorberg 20, Basel

Novartis Campus

Home to another pharmaceutical giant, the Novartis Campus is an impressive, if not slightly overwhelming blend of curving metal and reflective glass designed by Italian architect Vittorio Magnago Lampugnani. Unfortunately, the site is closed to the public, but you can still admire it from the outside.

Fabrikstrasse 2, Basel, +41 61 324 11 11

Museum Tinguely

The Museum Tinguely is one of Basel’s top art museums dedicated to the works of Jean Tinguely. Fittingly, it’s housed in an rather interesting building. The design was thought up by Mario Botta and completed in 1996.

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