BFH is to merge its technical disciplines at a new Biel/Bienne campus, centrally situated next to Biel railway station. This move will create an efficient teaching and research environment for the two departments TI and AHB, in shared, cutting-edge premises that meet all of today’s expectations of a place of teaching, learning, research and work.
BFH has grown steadily since its foundation in 1997 and is now spread over 33 locations in three regions. The aim of the campus project in Biel is to concentrate technical disciplines on one site. Today, these are spread across 10 locations in the Bern, Biel and Burgdorf regions. The new Biel/Bienne campus will allow BFH to make use of synergies in teaching and research and increase its competitive edge.
The campus is to be built on the ‘Feldschlössli’ site near Biel railway station. The construction project is based on the winning project ‘Trèfle’ by pool architects from Zurich. Excavation work began in early 2018, along with parallel archaeological digs in the area.
However, the project has since been delayed: firstly by legal wrangling, and secondly by the temporary suspension of the tendering process for a general contractor. An external report has since clarified the reasons behind the suspension.
Following this, the canton of Bern is now working to relaunch the project. With the support of various external specialists, a strengthened project team has analysed the project to highlight potential areas for optimisation and cost savings. They identified 52 items with a savings potential of between CHF 30 and 45 million. An adjusted cost estimate will be available mid-summer 2021. This will form the basis for the new tender for a general contractor.
It currently appears that construction work on the Biel/Bienne campus will commence in 2022, with a view to launching the campus in autumn 2025. The launch was originally scheduled for autumn 2022. However, if the legal disputes continue, the launch could be delayed still further.