From lightship to cultural hub

A unique event space is being created in the hull of the historic lightship ‘Gannet 1954’. Some 70 Dresos helped strip the interior and supported the operating association with its project.

Brief description


Several work sessions throughout the year

Over 1,000 hours of planning services and manual labor

Over 1,000 hours of planning services and manual labor

The Canton of Basel City and the Swiss Rhine Ports have made a site of about two hectares available to the associations I_Land and Shift Mode on a temporary basis. This provides some 25 affiliated projects in the fields of sports, art, culture and food & beverage with a platform for creative development and the commercial exploitation of their ideas. The Gannet 1954 lightship is located in the versatile Holzpark Klybeck, which operates as an artistic and cultural space in the Basel Rhine Port.

Once fitted with sound and thermal insulation, the ship will become an integral part of the culture park until at least December 2024. In addition to housing many small colorful studios and workshops, the nostalgic lightship will provide a venue for music, exhibitions and cultural events. To this end, the Gannet – which was built in Ireland in 1954 – was relocated to the port in Basel and placed on dry land in August 2019. The operating association is investing a huge amount of time and volunteer work to repurpose the Gannet and turn it into a multifunctional venue.

Project managers from Drees & Sommer provided enthusiastic support to the Shift Mode association in the form of more than 1,000 hours of planning services and manual labor on site. The challenging gutting of the 600-tonne lightship required great commitment, endurance and perseverance. In several phases throughout the year, the ship’s hull was almost completely gutted, which will allow it to operate as a cultural and event venue accommodating up to 200 people.

As a striking symbol for the entire culture park, the lightship has left a lasting impression on the employees. Their work on the repurposing of the Gannet allowed them to demonstrate their expertise in areas such as the circular economy, temporary construction, user experience and other innovative aspects of sustainable urban development. At the same time, the project team has made a significant contribution to the cultural utilization of the port area.

“It was great fun helping to realize this important cultural project by providing planning services and hands-on support!”

Lukas Tzeschlock, Drees & Sommer Switzerland

The challenging dismantling of the 600 ton lightship required commitment, endurance and stamina.
The ship's hull has been almost completely hollowed out and will in future offer space for up to 200 people as a cultural and event venue.
The restructuring of the gannet poses new challenges even for the most experienced employees.
The employees supported the Shift Mode team on site in the form of planning services and work assignments.
The symbolic character of the lighthouse as an identity-giving object for an entire area also leaves a lasting impression on the employees.