Swiss national rail company SBB and the town of Liestal are working in partnership to develop the area around Liestal railway station into a lively quarter with a busy daytime economy. Their plans include a new station building and an office and residential block to be completed in the first phase of construction and followed by a high-rise development. The architectural design competition for the station area was won in 2016 by a team headed by Burkard Meyer Architekten.
The current project features a new, elongated, 4-floor station building and a 7-storey mid-rise block. The transparent ground floor of the station building, designed to receive the travelling public, offers a highly permeable space that mediates between town and railway. The three floors above it are set to accommodate surgeries and outpatient clinics belonging to Baselland Cantonal Hospital. The office and residential block, which continues the visual impression created by the station building but with openings on all sides that build in a high level of flexibility for future use, contains office space and four residential floors.
Noise and other nuisance generated by the railway to the south require special solutions in terms of internal organization and lighting in both buildings. The variety of potential uses, both initially and in the longer term, demand a load-bearing structure with optimum flexibility. The skeleton-type design and the use of pre-fabricated columns and stairs in combination with in situ-cast concrete floors produce a construction method that is both efficient and economical. Both structures will feature an in situ-cast concrete framework based on a grid of regularly spaced, uniform support columns and flat slabs. The 34cm-thick slabs and integrated anti-vibration mat in the basement are sufficient to reduce intrusive vibrations and structure-borne noise from train traffic to a reasonable level. The stabilizing access and service cores secured in the rigid box-girder framework of the basement together with individual wall panels provide ample protection against horizontal forces.
The use of pigmented Jurassic limestone concrete for the facade gives the building a light yet robust appearance while its seamless horizontal parapet walls symbolize the flow of traffic on the railway. In addition to providing noise protection, the concrete parapet walls stabilize the slab edges on the long sides of the structure, bringing station building, cycle park and office and residential block together into one ensemble.
The connecting roof between the station building and the 7-storey block is made of reinforced concrete and supported on a series of in situ-cast columns that are fixed transversely. These columns sit on the exterior wall of the basement cycle park and transfer vertical loads down into the foundations.