Stadtcasino Basel

Folding seats for listed auditorium and foyer furniture

The complex of buildings that make up the Stadtcasino have been refurbished, remodelled and extended according to plans by architects Herzog & de Meuron, in a process that began back in 2016. As well as preserving its acoustic properties, one aim was to restore the Stehlin concert hall, originally built in 1876, to how it looked in 1905. Girsberger was commissioned to produce the seating – 1,388 folding seats – according to the original design.

Basel, Switzerland

Herzog & de Meuron

Folding seats, central seating feature, fabric-draped canopy

André Bolliger
Roman Weyeneth (lead photo)


This architectural gem has now been restored to its former glory, following a period of renovation and extension work delivered by Basel-based architects Herzog & de Meuron in close partnership with the Cantonal Office of Historic Monuments. Having been completely refurbished, the complex looks stunning with its reinstated classical style elements.

Boasting many integrated technical innovations and optimized acoustics, the concert hall, with its new seating based on the original design from the Gründerzeit period, now forms the heart of the historic complex. Girsberger Customized Furniture developed this furniture based on information gleaned from old photographs.

Distinctive features:
Using various prototypes, the sitting comfort, folding mechanism, materials, colours and dimensions were agreed with the architects, and various acoustic set-ups were tested in the laboratory. The seating is made from solid oak (stained smoked oak), along with certified fire-retardant upholstery foam and velour fabric. A pneumatic stop damper keeps the folding mechanism quiet.


In the Hans Huber Hall, which is also listed and is used as a venue for chamber music, Girsberger repaired and relacquered the folding seats in the gallery, which incorporate woven rattan.

For the main foyer, Girsberger also produced a large, central bench for 24 people. Huge canopies were also created to plans by Herzog & de Meuron. The substructures, upholstery elements and velour fabric are flame retardant and meet all the fire protection requirements. The base of the bench is finished in mirror-polished chromium-nickel steel.