herzog & de meuron inaugurate ricola herb center in laufen
photo courtesy of ricola

 

 

 

herzog & de meuron has completed their seventh project for swiss company ricola – an herb cleaning and storage facility adjacent to their production facility in laufen. taking 16 months to complete, the design features a solid rammed earth façade stretching to over 100 meters in length and around 11 meters in height. its distinctive shape reflects the steps involved in the industrial process with the structure responsible for dealing with over 1.4 million kilograms of fresh herbs each year.

herzog-&-de-meuron-inaugurate-ricola-herb-center-in-laufen-designboom-02
the design features a solid rammed earth façade stretching to over 100 meters in length
image © iwan baan

 

 

 

experienced sustainable construction experts lehm ton erde worked closely with herzog & de meuron to develop the project, which now stands as europe’s largest loam building. the prefabricated earth elements were manufactured in a nearby factory out of ingredients extracted from local quarries and mines.

herzog-&-de-meuron-inaugurate-ricola-herb-center-in-laufen-designboom-03
the facility is adjacent to ricola’s production facility in laufen
image © iwan baan

 

 

 

as an architect you not only have to take specifications into account but also the place where the building is to be located. the materials used to build the shell of the kräuterzentrum (herb center) were sourced from a radius of eight to ten kilometers. the building is made out of the heritage on which it stands,’ explained pierre de meuron.

herzog & de meuron ricola herb center laufen designboom
the structure is europe’s largest loam building
image © simone bossi

herzog & de meuron ricola herb center laufen designboom
the prefabricated materials were manufactured in a nearby factory out of ingredients extracted from local quarries
image © simone bossi

herzog & de meuron ricola herb center laufen designboom
detail of the rammed earth wall
image © simone bossi

herzog & de meuron ricola herb center laufen designboom
the distinctive shape reflects the steps involved in the industrial process
images © simone bossi

herzog & de meuron ricola herb center laufen designboom
the structure is responsible for dealing with over 1.4 million kilograms of fresh herbs each year
images © simone bossi

herzog & de meuron ricola herb center laufen designboom
circular apertures cut into the loam façades
images © simone bossi

herzog & de meuron ricola herb center laufen designboom
access to the facility is via a timber doorway
images © simone bossi

 

herzog & de meuron inaugurate ricola herb center in laufen

 

project info:

 

location: laufen (basel), switzerland
client: ricola ag
architecture: herzog & de meuron
concept: subplan rammed earth
façade: lehm ton erde baukunst gmbh, martin rauch
builder: lehm ton erde baukunst gmbh / lehm ton erde schweiz gmbh