Nestled amongst six-story buildings within the matrix of Roche Kaiseraugst global campus, the Pocket Park functions as a central niche of lounge, transit, and event space. The intensive infrastructural requirements in particular to the Home for IT (HIT) sub-area necessitate careful handling of the open space here. The resulting park embodies the balancing act between design, ecology and function.

Contrary to the adjacent landscape park, where nature is in the foreground of the design, the Pocket Park acts as a mediator between culture and nature. Starting from the areas of active foot traffic and use within the square, the parametrically designed concrete pavers fray out towards the planted trees. In this way, the hierarchy of circulation is organized as a permeable gradient from hardscape to softscape. The square, which at installation appeared more grey than green, evolves over time into a vibrant green oasis. It provides a necessary outdoor respite for the users of the buildings while also creating a spectacular identity for the site.

The paving design is generated using automated algorithms based on the estimated pedestrian flow, seating areas, and the positioning of trees. The software utilized to generate the pattern has been developed exclusively for this project. Molds for the cast-in-situ concrete pavers were then milled by Computerized Numerical Control (CNC) machinery. The project sets new ground in the implementation of parametric design within landscape architecture.

Project Data

Landscape Architecture: Bryum

Project location: 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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