Architectural dialog with Herzog & de Meuron

Basel-based architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron has designed seven different new building and renovation projects for Ricola on behalf of the Richterich family since 1983. The result: a collection of buildings that are unique around the world. The structures reflect the ongoing development of the architectural philosophy of Herzog & de Meuron over a small surface area, and uphold the quality standards that Ricola prioritizes across all areas of its business.

“The Herb Center in Laufen has put an old architectural style back into the spotlight. A cathedral made of clay, a minimalistic box, a raw block of earth that serves as a challenge to the high-tech architecture pursued by major brands. Herzog & de Meuron and Ricola have been at the forefront of the contemporary architecture scene for over three decades.” Gerhard Mack, 2014

After 16 months of construction, the new Ricola Herb Center in Laufen commenced operations at the beginning of May 2014. Located directly next to the production facility, it is the newest of Ricola’s seven buildings.

The Herb Center was built using clay and earth from the Laufen valley. As architect and engineer Martin Rauch explains, “this enabled us to uphold Ricola’s traditional values while relying on sustainable, future-proof building methods.” The sustainable methods used to construct the new Herb Center are evident in the energy-efficient heating system and the rammed earth-based facades, which help to balance the temperature and humidity inside the building.

Architecture guide

An architecture guide on this unique collection of buildings has been published:
Ricola / Herzog & de Meuron. Seven Buildings 1983 – 2014

The guide contains contributions from architecture critic Gerhard Mack and insightful interviews with Felix Richterich, Lukas Richterich, Jacques Herzog, and Pierre de Meuron. The guide is available to purchase from the S AM Swiss Architecture Museum in Basel (price: CHF 18.00).
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