Success Story with

Kunstmuseum Basel

Supporting architects through the simulation of pedestrian flows

customer: Cantonal Department of Construction and Transport Basel-Stadt

in cooperation with
Christ & Gantenbein
Sector/Industry: Real estate
Concert halls
Exhibition and convention centres
Methods & technologies: People counting system
Pedestrian flows

The Kunstmuseum (Art Museum) Basel is one of the most internationally renowned museums, comprising of a large and world-famous art collection dating back seven centuries. In order to do this large collection justice, the Kunstmuseum extended its facilities with the building of an additional space. This structure celebrated its opening in mid-April 2016. The extension was designed by the noted Basel-based architects Christ & Gantenbein whose intention was to create an exhibition, storage and event venue, which they named Haus fĂĽr die Kunst (Art House). It is located directly opposite the main building to which it is connected below street level by a spacious structure leading into a large hall. 


ASE supported the architects during the planning with a methodological and systematic analysis of the pedestrian flows. Together with the City of Basel, Christ & Gantenbein developed a number of different operating concepts. These draft concepts, as expected, exhibited contrasting pedestrian flows. During the planning stage, therefore, it was crucial for ASE to identify and assess all contingencies. In order to evaluate the pedestrian traffic throughout the whole building the following points were taken into account:


  • positioning of the entrances and exits as well as the locations of the cloak rooms
  • pedestrian flows between the entrances and the exits as well as the cloak rooms
  • capacity of the cloak rooms
  • underground conference rooms
  • capacity of the rest rooms


Based on this study, it was clear how the pedestrian traffic, in its various scenarios, affected the user-experience. It also exposed where, and under which circumstances, bottlenecks were likely to occur. The results served as an ideal decision-making basis for concrete structural implementation.