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.

27 Museum of Culture, Basel, 2015, enclos*ure
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.

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

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

29 Museum of Culture, Basel, 2015, enclos*ure
The entrance to the courtyard is in the upper left corner.

30 Museum of Culture, Basel, 2015, enclos*ure
You can see a plan of the courtyard here (fifth image).

Continue reading “A study in steps: Schürhof, Basel”

More steps, Washington, D.C.

Here’s another steps/ramp (driveway) combination that I snapped during our recent travels — at the back of DACOR Bacon House, an historic former residence a couple of blocks from the White House in Washington, D.C.


I like the mix of old brick and pebbly concrete.

BELOW: In front of a D.C. office building, I also spotted this nice solution to those sharp planting bed corners that are always bare dirt because people cut across them.