Over its more than 70 years, the building that most recently housed the Coop wine storage warehouse in Lysbüchel, a former industrial zone of Basel, has taken on many guises. Each has left its own traces and scars. Sometime in the 1970s, for instance, the gable roof was torn off, the building was extended upward and outward, and its facade was completely clad in somber beige corrugated aluminum sheeting. All of this is history now: The warehouse has been radically transformed into vibrant and affordable housing.

Esch Sintzel, the Zurich firm that adapted the structure to its latest identity, has envisaged it as a city within a building — with long rues intérieures, inspired by Le Corbusier, where residents can interact with one…

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