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Business, science and art--a liaison Baloise: the Basel area, situated in the tri-country region where Switzerland, Germany and France come together, is not only international but also surprisingly innovative and chock-full of cultural attractions.

In 2006, the region gained not just one but two new institutions: the University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland opened the new School of Life Sciences in Muttenz, and the ETH Zurich founded the Center for Biosystems Science and Engineering in Basel, the first time in its 150-year history that the institution has a department outside of Zurich. The dense concentration of public and private research institutions in the Basel area form a network characterized by myriad formal and informal forms of contact and cooperation. This is the secret for the success of the Basel area.

Basel is well-known as a center of business--with global players such as Roche and Novartis as well as dynamic newcomers such as Actelion, Speedel and Basilea. Basel also has a long tradition as an artistic center, so it is not surprising that business and art are closely connected.

Basel as an artistic center

In 1919 Basel became the first canton in Switzerland to create a special fund to buy works of art. It is also the Swiss canton with the highest spending per capita on culture; the local population takes a vital interest in its city's cultural traditions. Where else would a referendum on the purchase of modern art pass? It happened in Basel-Stadt in 1967, when the electorate voted to acquire two valuable Picasso paintings for eight million Swiss francs. Part of the purchase was funded by donations from the inhabitants and part out of the cantonal budget. This so pleased Picasso, who was still alive at the time, that he spontaneously donated another four artworks to the city of Basel. The referendum was necessary because the aforementioned fund did not have the money to buy such valuable works.

In Basel, however, appreciation of the arts is not left entirely to the public sector. A growing number of private initiatives actively support art. Over the years, generous patrons in the Basel region have set up well-endowed private foundations. They have financed internationally famous museums such as the Tinguely Museum designed by Mario Botta, the Fondation Beyeler by Renzo Piano and the Schaulager by Herzog & de Meuron.

Architectural Basel

The names of these three prestigious architectural offices highlight the fact that the Basel region is a gold mine for lovers of architecture. You can hardly step outside without coming across some fascinating building. And new ones are constantly being added. For instance, Zaha Hadid, an Iraqi-born London-based star architect, has submitted imposing designs for a building to house new concert halls in the heart of the city.

By enhancing their properties in the region, the pharmaceutical companies Novartis and Roche also intend to make significant contributions to the architecture of the city. They use architecture not only to provide optimal working environments, but by placing notable accents are also actively involved in Basel's urban development. The Novartis Campus currently under construction, with completion planned for 2008, is intended not only as a place of knowledge, but also as an esthetically attractive environment for workers and visitors alike. Hence, it is no surprise to learn that Forum 5, the already completed office building, was designed by Diener & Diener, an internationally acclaimed architectural office based in Basel.

In record time, Roche has erected an ultramodern Biotechnikum that is not only one of the most advanced in the world, but also captivatingly beautiful. Furthermore, at its headquarters in Basel Roche is planning to build a huge, futuristically elegant office block to house 2,400 employees and a new research and development building. Both of these projects, involving a total investment of about CHF 800 million, will be designed by Herzog & de Meuron, a world-famous Basel architectural office.

Theater and music

The inhabitants of the Basel region also attach great importance to theater and music. Another example of a public-private partnership is the new theater building (Schauspielhaus) in Basel, which, thanks to the generous support of a group of female sponsors known as "Ladies First," opened in January 2003. The Basel Theatre, specialising in three different genres--ballet, opera and drama--is Switzerland's largest theatre of its kind.

Cultural program without borders

Today, with more than 150 museums, which can be visited with a trinational one-for-all museum pass, 25 theaters and stages, two of the largest trade fairs in the world for art (Art) and for watches and jewelry (Basel World), more than 50 galleries and an extensive and varied cultural program, the trinational Basel region can rightly brand itself as a European cultural metropolis. Art Basel has not only written cultural, but also economic history, and become a real export hit. The offshoot Art Basel Miami Beach has now become the biggest fair for contemporary art on the American continent.

The close connection between culture and business is without a doubt one of the secret factors behind the success of the Basel region.

BaselArea+

www.baselarea.ch

Music festivals / concerts

22.06-29.07.2007:

Stimmen Festival--diverse concerts

including Pink, Katie Melua and India Arie

Phone: 061 268 6831

Info: www.stimmen.com

25.06.2007: Meat Loaf

Locality: St. Jakobshalle Basel

Phone: 0900 800 800

Info: www.goodnews.ch

Art fairs / Museum of Fine Arts Basel

12-17.06.2007: Liste '07--art fair

Locality: Old Braurei Warteck

Info: www.liste.ch

13-17.06.2007:

ART Basel--international art fair

Locality: Messe Basel

Info: www.artbasel.com

2.6.-23.9.2007: Jasper Johns, An Allegory of Painting, 1955-1965

Locality: Kunstmuseum Basel

Info: www.kunstmuseumbasel.ch

For more information on business-related matters, please contact:

BaselArea

Wirtschaftsforderung BS & BL

Aeschenvorstadt 36

4010 Basel

Tel. +41 61 295 50 02

Fax +41 61 295 50 09

www.baselarea.ch

DORINT BASEL ***

The hotel you really feel good in next to downtown. Welcome home! Enjoy modern design and astonishing functionality in 171 superior and executive rooms and in all other outlets of the hotel. Your modern 3-star business hotel is just a few steps away from the trade-lair complex and the Congress Center.

MEETING ROOMS

The Dorint Basel offers 5 meeting rooms, all with daylight, providing a perfect surrounding for a successful meeting for up to 80 people. An inviting terrace provides the possibility for relaxing breaks "a la open air". Being a professional event coordinator we are the perfect host for your event in Basel.

MEETING EQUIPMENT

Standard technical equipment (slide projector, screen, pin board, flip chart, markers and additional a video projector) is already included in all meeting packages. Further audio/visual equipment and additional technical equipment is available on request.

MEETING SERVICES

Your personal event coordinator will time your individual wishes and will look after you and your event during your entire stay.

GUEST ROOMS

You will feel comfortable in our 161 bright superior and executive rooms as well as in our 10 studios all equipped with ISDN connection, W-LAN and Pay-TV.

DINING OPTIONS

To start your day perfectly our restaurant offers you a big variety breakfast buffet. Besides the great breakfast buffet we will spoil you with international dishes for lunch and dinner. The restaurant is opened daily from 6.30 am to 11.00 pm. For a quick coffee in the morning or a relaxing drink in the evening we are happy to welcome you in our lobby bar.

SPORTS AND LEISURE

Use our fitness equipment like stepper, weights and bicycles which you are welcome to rent at the reception free of charge.

LOCATION

Directions by plane: Euro Airport Basel Muhlhouse: 6.5 km

Directions by car: D: A5 KA-Basel, Exit Exhibition/Bad. Bahnhof at roundabout straights on till Musical Hall

CH: Zurich-Basel, Exit Exhibition/Bad. Bahnhof, please follow the signs

Directions by public transport: Tramway and bus stop next to the hotel
MEETING ROOMS   [m.sup.2]       L x W x H     Meeting   Meeting
                                  (m)          Rooms   Equipment

BERN 1             33.3     6.4 x 5.2 x 2.9     10        --
BERN 2             50.4     9.7 x 5.2 x 2.9     20        24
BERN 3             49.9     9.6 x 5.2 x 2.9     20        24
SCHAFFHAUSEN       48.5     7.7 x 6.3 x 2.9     16        16
WALLIS             32.8     6.3 x 5.2 x 2.9     10        --

MEETING ROOMS     Meeting     Guest   Dining   Sports and
                 Equipment  Services  Rooms   Options Leisure

BERN 1              15         --       12          --
BERN 2              36         --       24          --
BERN 3              36         --       24          --
SCHAFFHAUSEN        25         --       20          --
WALLIS              15         --       12          --
COPYRIGHT 2007 Swiss News
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2007 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:CANTON PROFILE
Publication:Swiss News
Article Type:Company overview
Geographic Code:4EXSI
Date:Jun 1, 2007
Words:1384
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