Gustafson Porter + Bowman’s work at the Novartis Campus in Basel transforms a former industrial site into a contemporary urban parkland that aims to enhance campus life. The resulting ‘Rhine Terrace’ follows an extensive six-year redevelopment which references the geomorphic and botanic landscape of the post-glacial Upper Rhine Valley and strengthens the relationship between the campus and the river.
Situated on the border between France and Switzerland, the longitudinal shape of Rhine Terrace is framed by campus buildings to the west, the French national border to the north, the River Rhine to the east, and an additional park to the south (designed by Vogt Landschaftsarchitekten).
The Novartis Campus has a strong grid which is dictated by the current and future development of the buildings, streets, and open spaces. Our landscape design dissolves this grid into a natural, riparian landscape that serves as an important ecological corridor and encourages exploration. Comprised of a rich layer of ornamental and structural plants, the 1.7ha site is divided into a series of distinct, intimate terraces and ‘outdoor rooms’ that allow visitors and staff to relax: Tree Avenue; The Lawn; Promenade; Middle Meadow; Amphitheatre; and Woodland Gardens.
The Tree Avenue and Promenade are bordered with dense perennial, fern and native grass planting; Salix and Cornus extend across to the Middle Meadow and Amphitheatre, providing varied colour throughout the year; while a trimmed grass lawn forms the horizon against which the River Rhine can be seen in the distance.
The park is situated 6 metres above the Rhine and benefits from long views of the river, inviting users to the edge of the park for contemplation or a walk along the promenade. The space overall creates a deep sense of escape, calm and tranquillity.
Your website domain: Gustafson Porter + Bowman
Other designers involved in the design of landscape: Stauffer Rösch – Local landscape architect; Aegerter & Bosshardt – Contractor
Design year: 2010
Year Built: 2018
Photographer: Richard Bloom
Manufacturer of urban equipment: Urbidermis, Landscape Forms, Grythyttan