Herzog & de Meuron

ALLSCHWIL, SWITZERLAND — As the construction of HORTUS continues, we share an impression of the progress on-site, focusing on the production of the building’s unique clay-wood floor slabs. HORTUS is constructed using these modular elements—each comprises a wooden frame within which clay is compressed to form vaults. The dense clay acts as fire protection while passively regulating the indoor climate by absorbing excess heat and moisture. The slabs are manufactured next to the construction site using the earth displaced from the building’s foundation excavation.

Once complete, HORTUS will accommodate 600 workspaces. The building will generate more energy than it consumes from day one, due to its PV system and reduced energy loads. It is slated to be absolutely energy positive in thirty-one years, meaning the building will have generated enough to offset the total embodied energy of its construction, materials, and day-to-day operation.


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