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Campus Roche, Central Park


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Location: Switzerland / Type: Campus / Parks / Built: 2018 /
Show on Google Maps / Published on October 18, 2023

Bryum has been orchestrating the masterplan of the Hoffmann-La Roche AG campus, in Kaiseraugst Switzerland, which is being transformed into a location for 8,000 future employees. It is located in the lowlands of the Rhine Valley, between the Black Forest, the Vosges and the Jura, in the greater Basel area. Within the context of rich settlement and cultural history, the site functions as an ecological corridor between the adjacent natural areas. In terms of urban development and landscape, the green master plan creates a vital connection to its surroundings. The open spaces form connections among the urban building blocks and offer a variety of usage and regenerative spaces for people, animals and plants.

With the central park, the campus is given a new heart – a meadow landscape en miniature – as a place of coexistence between man and nature. Derived from the Rhine Valley landscape typologies, a thriving ecosystem is engineered above an underground parking garage. Such requires experts and individual solutions, which were achievable solely with the intense collaboration amongst our team of hydrologists, ecologists, botanists, civil engineers, architects, arborists, perennial gardeners and landscape architects.

The floodplain is a habitat of unforeseeable disturbances. Here, the disturbance affects humans, animals and plants alike. Flora and fauna settle, develop, compete, recover and form a community along with the users of the park. By the act of walking and occupying, users create new niches and disturbances as integral catalysts of this new ecosystem. This ongoing process produces diversity rather than dominance. The park brings together 80 species of regional and floodplain trees. The oldest trees planted are 45 years old and 15 meters high. The 130 species of perennials include species on the Red List that were specifically obtained and cultivated from seeds from the local river meadows. Biotopes as migration corridors for reptiles are an important part of the concept, as is the use of native vegetation types and patterns of the alluvial forest, ruderal corridor, dry grassland and extensive meadow.

In contrast to the western and eastern parts, the Central Park proposes a new logic of path connections. The pedestrian becomes a flaneur, moving through a choreography of detours while following visual axes. Pavilion-like buildings, the gate at the entrance area, the auditorium in the middle and the staff restaurant in the north, are distributed throughout the park and accommodate internal and public uses. A vegetative border defines boundaries and mediates thresholds within the park. This fringe condition allows targeted views into and through the park without obscuring the surrounding buildings. Groups of trees divide open spaces into intermediary spaces of various sizes. For the park visitor, the vegetation is the mediator between the scale of the landscape and that of the architecture.

Through the use of local plant species, the visual language borrows from the English landscape park as well as from the Rhine Valley. It traces a watercourse from the softwood floodplain through exposed ruderal fields and diverse flowering meadows to the hardwood floodplain. With the ecological diversity of local species and spatial compositions, the park represents the characteristics of the global industrial company that is deeply rooted in its locality.

Project Data

Landscape Architecture: Bryum

Other designers involved in the design of the landscape: Nissen Wentzlaff Architekten

Project location: Wurmisweg, Kaiseraugst, Switzerland

Design and Execution year: 2014-2018

Photo Credits: F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG, Photographer: Beat Ernst, Ruedi Walti, Bryum

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