Close to Basel the site Kaiseraugst of the globally operating pharmaceutical company Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd. is located in the lowlands of the Rhine Valley, surrounded by the Black Forest, the Vosges and the Jura mountains. Amidst a region full of history and culture an ecological network system between diverse environments is developing. BRYUM landscape architects were a leading part of the team responsible for designing the master plan. The office is responsible for the open spaces, public Parks, streets and squares of the 65’000 m2 large Area.
One of the central squares in the Site is the home of the company’s information technology division. The paving design is generated using automated algorithms based on the estimated pedestrian flow, seating areas, and tree positioning. The computer software tool used to generate the pattern has been developed exclusively for this project. The formwork for the cast concrete paving elements where milled by Computerized Numerical Control CNC. The project is a groundbreaking implementation of parametric design in Landscape Architecture.
A park as large as five football fields, comprising 1100 trees and 80 000 shrubs, situated on top of a two-story underground parking – in 2017 the premises of Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd. in Kaiseraugst gained a new ecological centrepiece. The central park functions as a representative Space for up to 8 000 employees and visitors, and at the same time acts as an important ecological migration corridor for flora and fauna. With regards to urban and aesthetic development the masterplan `Green` establishes a strong connection to its surroundings. Open spaces act as connecting elements between urban modules and offer a variety of exploitation and regeneration areas available for people, animals and plants. With the central park the area received a new heart – a pasture landscape acting as a place for coexistence of man and nature.
The river floodplain represents a habitat of unforeseeable disturbances. This is where people, animals and plants are similarly the disturbing Element. The area is transforming to a venue for 8 000 employees prospectively. Flora and fauna settle, develop, compete, recover and build a cooperation together with the users and occupiers of the park. This persistent process generates diversity instead of dominance. The user is rather a part of the ecosystem than just a silent observer.
The park gathers 80 regional and partially rare woody plants typically found on floodplains. Overall 130 perennials encompass species from the Red List (list of endangered species) and were specifically cultivated from seeds of local river meadows.The dynamic care management plan of the park is based on the concept of disturbance. Natural disturbances such as regular flooding events are simulated by the users of the park as well as by horticultural actions. Emerging trails and seats amidst green spaces are desired by all means and important to keep vegetation areas open. Regular disturbances by gardening activities (e.g. pruning back trees and shrubs or thinning out the herbaceous layer) prevent the development of a climax community of woody plants and, thus, a dominant dispersal of single species.
Project location: Kaiseraugst | Switzerland
Design year: 2016
Year Built: 2017-2018