This afternoon I went on a tour of Novartis, the pharmaceutical company, with Jörg Schwarzburg who worked with Vittorio Lampugnani on laying out its masterplan.   Lampugnani was recruited in 2001.   He kept the main street as the central axis, basing it on the original Celtic settlement and adding a flanking Milanese arcade.   First building on the left is by Roger Diener with coloured glass panels on the façade (the chemical industry was founded on Basel’s historical expertise in dyes), on the right a building by SANAA.   In the middle of the site there’s a building by Frank Gehry which disrupts the rigid geometry of the site.   David Chipperfield has done an austerely classical building in which he mixes the offices and the laboratories.   At the end, there’s a building by Tadeo Ando.   It’s an architect’s dream of systematic order, utopian like a design by Aldo Rossi.   No photography.


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