American architect Tom Kundig – of the practice Olson Kundig – continues his Design Miami/ collaboration with this year’s 'Basel lounge', which he developed for the Herzog & de Meuron-designed grounds. Titled 'Outpost Basel', the architect’s concept focuses on the juxtaposition of different wood tones, in what he describes as 'a yin and yang interplay' idea. Located at the end of the ample building, the lounge appears monumental from afar, revealing its multifaceted detail as one walks closer.
A sustainable concept lies at its material core, with repurposed structural elements forming the separate spaces and furnishings. Austrian company Holzindustrie Schweighofer sourced and donated Romanian wood for the project; this was used for bricks arranged into a grid structure, and either left raw or finished with the Japanese Shou Sugi Ban technique of burning wood to preserve it, and protect it from insect damage and rotting.
Like all of Kundig's works, the lounge has a multi-layered, flexible concept at its core, embracing several subtle design details. Its outer shell is formed of wide, flat panels arranged in X-shaped structures, a discreet celebration of the fair's tenth installment. Inside, a secluded area can be converted from a seating lounge to a talk space, complemented with a interactive light installation created by Seattle-based digital artist Glymmer.
Open to collectors and VIPs as a bar and lounge area, the pavilion adds further stimulus to the week’s conversations around concepts of structure, sustainability and aesthetic.