A study in steps: Schürhof, Basel

12 Museum of Culture, Basel, 2015, enclos*ure

After I took a number of photos of the hanging plant columns of the Basel Museum of Culture (during our visit at Thanksgiving), I turned my attention to the courtyard around them — the Schürhof — the floor of which is largely a set of low, wide steps descending to the museum lobby and gift shop.

The entrance to the courtyard and museum on Munsterplatz.

The street entrance to the courtyard and thus to the museum is through a simple archway on the Münsterplatz.

Before the museum was renovated in 2011 by Herzog & de Meuron, the Schürhof* was not open to the public.  The museum shared a door with the Museum of Natural Sciences around the corner.

Looking at a “before” photo (here, fourth image), the old courtyard appears to have been used at least partly as a parking lot.

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Looking out on the courtyard from the lobby.

The renovation excavated it to open up a new museum entrance in the base of the existing 1917 neoclassical building.

The other buildings that enclose the Schürhof are medieval.

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Above and below are three views from upper windows inside the museum.

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The entrance to the courtyard is in the upper left corner.

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You can see a plan of the courtyard here (fifth image).

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Above and below: looking back across the steps, standing at the lowest point.

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The rise to tread ratio of the wide steps was comfortable.

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Detail of the highest point, across from the museum lobby.
Above, looking east, with the entrance to the courtyard at the upper right.
Above, looking east, with the entrance to the courtyard at the upper right.
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And looking west.

Note the white symbol of access in the brick pavement.

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It is necessary because the different shades of the bricks make a speckled pattern that somewhat obscures the individual steps when viewed from above and makes it difficult to see the ramp for wheelchairs.

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Detail of steps in southwest corner.

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Above: the ramp.

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Looking down to the museum door from the west side.
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Looking down to the lobby. I just read, by the way, that the columns of plants rotate slowly.
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Looking down to the gift shop side.

*I have not been able to find the source of this name.

4 thoughts on “A study in steps: Schürhof, Basel

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