St. Johann has designs on becoming must-see Swiss burg

In the neighborhood of St. Johann in Basel, Switzerland, even a pharmaceutical headquarters is an architectural attraction.

Along the Rhine River in northern Basel, Switzerland, sits the St. Johann neighborhood. Never heard of it? If you're a fan of architecture and art, you may have -- or, at least, you will soon.

A number of factors are converging to push St. Johann into the center of architects' and designers' attention in Basel, reports the New York Times:

  • Big pharmaceutical Novartis spent 2.2 billion Swiss franc to turn its headquarters and production facility there into a "starchitect" destination. It hired architects Frank Gehry, Yoshio Taniguchi, who worked on the Museum of Modern Art, and Tadao Ando to design buildings for the campus.
  • Art Parcours, the outdoors, site-specific art tour of the international art show Art Basel, is landing in St. Johann this summer (June 13-17).
  • New and improved transportation options have made it easier to get into and out of St. Johann from nearby France and Germany.
  • A bevy of new boutiques, galleries and furniture designers are growing St. Johann's street cred.

But the best evidence that St. Johann is so hot right now? A 2-bedroom apartment there, furnished largely in Ikea, is going for $371/night on Airbnb. Yikes.

Image: St. Johann neighborhood, Flickr/pppspics

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