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November 26, 2009updated Jul 08, 2015

Baselworld Sets Expansion For Watch And Jewelry Fair

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

BASEL, Switzerland — The optimisation process for the “Basel Exhibition Center” project has been
successfully completed, according to a press release received by Elite Traveler. The new hall complex by architects Herzog & de Meuron
will be open in time for BASEL­WORLD 2013. A total of CHF 430 million is to be
invested in the project as a whole. BASELWORLD is the world’s largest exhibition of watches and jewelry open to consumers.

The revision of the “Basel Exhibition Center” project compiled by architects
Herzog & de Meuron has been successfully completed. It has proved possible to
attain the objectives, with the specified cost ceiling being observed and the
architectural concept maintained. And the optimised new hall complex project
still satisfies the stringent demands of the BASELWORLD Watch and Jewellery

The cost ceiling for the overall project – the new hall, plus all the additional
sub-projects, including preparatory work, removals, provisional measures and
management etc. – now stands at CHF 430 million.

The new hall has a floor plan of some 220 by 90 metres and a height of 32
metres. With the new complex, the exhibition site in Basel will have a gross
exhibition surface of 141,000 square metres in all, thus satisfying the
operational requirements for the World Watch and Jewellery Show. The basic
structural concept and the technical fittings (load-bearing capacity,
supporting-pillar configuration and media grid, etc.) for the new hall have been
designed along the same lines as for the existing Hall 1.

Improved construction schedule
It was decided in March 2009 already that the opening of the new hall would be
moved back from January 2012 to BASELWORLD 2013. This will also permit an
improved construction schedule, thanks to the extended construction time slots
then available. After completion of the preparatory work, the first step, once
BASELWORLD 2011 has come to an end, will be to construct the building over
Exhibition Square. When BASELWORLD 2012 is over, Hall 3 will be demolished and
rebuilt, together with the front section of Hall 1. This arrangement will ensure
that the World Watch and Jewellery Show is not affected by the building work and
can be held in its customary surroundings each time.

The need for a project like the “Basel Exhibition Center” to be revised is
nothing unusual in the case of such big and complex projects, says Ulrich
Vischer, Chairman of the Board of the MCH Group Ltd., which organises
BASELWORLD. “The fact that we are paying great attention to cost control is in
the interests of all those involved – not just with regard to our company but
also in respect of the public authori­ties who have given their support to the
project.” For René Kamm, CEO of the MCH Group Ltd., the quality of the project
has been enhanced through its revision. “The compatibility of the new complex
has been upgraded in urban planning terms – without any loss of functionality.”

HRS Real Estate AG was commissioned to optimise the project. At the same time,
the authorities of the City of Basel were also involved in the process. The
Cityscape Committee took note of the revised version in positive terms. Those in
charge of the project can view this public support for the construction project
as fundamental support for BASELWORLD within the Basel region too.

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