Roche updates plans for upgrading the south side of its Basel site

Basel, 14 October 2020

  • Roche presents its vision for a third office high-rise that will visually enhance the existing cluster of buildings.
  • The redesign of the south side of the Roche site (Südareal) will provide ultramodern workplaces and create ample green, open space between the site and the Solitude promenade.
  • Demolition of Südareal still due to start after 2023.

Roche today presented more developed plans for redesigning the Rhine-facing section of its site along Grenzacherstrasse in Basel. The development plans for the Südareal highlight Roche's commitment to Basel and the surrounding region. Following the inauguration of the new research and development building on the north side of the site in 2023, the old laboratory buildings along the Solitude promenade will be left vacant. Roche plans to replace them with a loose mix of buildings amid an ample green, open space. The park will also accommodate a reception building and a high-rise office building. The office high-rise will mirror the existing Buildings 1 and 2 in terms of height and design, complementing them to create a harmonious whole. The visual triad of "stepped" high-rises will form the focus of the Basel site.

"The revised vision for the upgraded Südareal we are presenting today gives us the opportunity to create modern workplaces while substantially expanding the green space along the Rhine and redesigning the Solitude promenade," says Jürg Erismann, Basel/Kaiseraugst Site Head. "We are convinced that innovation arises primarily through personal interaction. So despite increasingly flexible work practices," continues Erismann, "we will need new, modern and highly attractive workplaces in the heart of the city once the coronavirus pandemic is over."

The updated plans for the future development of the Südareal will be set out in the development zone planning. The revised plans, which are being drawn up by Roche together with the Basel-based architects Herzog & de Meuron, will form the basis and the visual framework for future action. The development zone plans show two possible structures: a low-rise building in the centre of the site and a single high-rise on Grenzacherstrasse similar in design and height to the existing Buildings 1 and 2. The maximum possible height for this building would be 221 metres.

The current dense mix of individual office and laboratory buildings on the southern part of the site no longer meets contemporary requirements in terms of modern, sustainable and earthquake-resistant workplaces. For this reason, all the buildings in the Südareal – with the exception of the modern Building 1 high-rise and the historic Building 21 administration building – are to be demolished after 2023.

About Roche

Roche is a global pioneer in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics focused on advancing science to improve people’s lives. The combined strengths of pharmaceuticals and diagnostics under one roof have made Roche the leader in personalised healthcare – a strategy that aims to fit the right treatment to each patient in the best way possible.

Roche is the world’s largest biotech company, with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, immunology, infectious diseases, ophthalmology and diseases of the central nervous system. Roche is also the world leader in in vitro diagnostics and tissue-based cancer diagnostics, and a frontrunner in diabetes management.

Founded in 1896, Roche continues to search for better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat diseases and make a sustainable contribution to society. The company also aims to improve patient access to medical innovations by working with all relevant stakeholders. More than thirty medicines developed by Roche are included in the World Health Organization Model Lists of Essential Medicines, among them life-saving antibiotics, antimalarials and cancer medicines. Moreover, for the eleventh consecutive year, Roche has been recognised as one of the most sustainable companies in the Pharmaceuticals Industry by the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI).

The Roche Group, headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, is active in over 100 countries and in 2019 employed about 98,000 people worldwide. In 2019, Roche invested CHF 11.7 billion in R&D and posted sales of CHF 61.5 billion. Genentech, in the United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche is the majority shareholder in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan. For more information, please visit

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