Concrete and cocoa beans: in the newly developed Erlenmatt Ost quarter, located within walking distance of Basel Badischer Bahnhof railway station and Exhibition Square, you can find what is arguably the city’s most unusual overnight accommodation: Silo Erlenmatt is a former grain and cocoa warehouse, run by the city of Basel.
Dating back to 1912, it was converted into a hostel, restaurant and atelier space in 2020. What makes it so special is that original character of the filigree concrete structure has largely been left intact. Carefully chosen design interventions bestow style and personality: in the restaurant, concrete-filled pyramidical grain hoppers hang from the ceiling, skillfully staged by ring-shaped lights. Upstairs, concrete bridges with railings made of raw black steel lead across the empty silo chambers to the studios and hostel rooms. Outside, porthole-like windows with royal blue sunshades exude an unexpected air of Parisian café flair. Talking of which: the cocoa beans now take pride of place in the restaurant's roasting machines, waiting to be served to brunching locals and travellers from all over the world. Plenty of house plants and lounge corners make this a hip urban hangout place. But there’s more to explore: the car-free Erlenmatt quarter boasts plenty of innovative, eco-friendly architecture and the expansive Erlenmattpark.