Herzog & de Meuron
Project
1992
Realization
1993

Ricola Europe’s new factory building is located at an idyllic wooded site between the Rhine-Rhone Canal and the river Ill on the southern edge of the city of Mulhouse.

The building is to be used simultaneously as a factory and for storage. Its simple hall with flexible floor plan divisions offers the perfect solution.

The building’s form recalls a cardboard box lying on the floor with open flaps. The cantilevered extending roofs on the two long sides open up both to the landscape and to the entrance and loading areas for fork lifts and transport vehicles, as well they create shade and weather protection.
The short sides of the factory building are each closed by a black concrete wall. Water from the roof runs down over these black concrete walls and trickles into a deep bed of Alsatian gravel. The water running down the walls forms a fine film of plant life; a natural drawing ensues.

Both long walls are light walls providing the work area with constant, pleasantly filtered daylight. Light filtering occurs through printed translucent polycarbonate façade panels, a common industrial building material. Using silkscreen, these panels are printed with a repetitive plant motif based on photograph’s by Karl Blossfeldt.
The effect the panels have on the interior can be compared to that of a curtain – textile-like – that creates a relationship to the site’s trees and shrubs. Viewed from outside, the translucent printed panels on the façade and the extended roof again recall textiles – the lining of a dress or the inner padding of a box. If daylight diminishes, the printing is barely visible from outside and the material of the façade panels becomes much stronger. Their surfaces then seem rather closed and smooth, and their expression becomes more like that of the building’s concrete side walls.
Herzog & de Meuron, 1996

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094_CP_9401_704_MS
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094_CP_9401_709_MS

Process

Before construction began: a property at the edge of the city.

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094_SI_9205_500

A model with early, panicle-shaped imprints on the façade. Early version with imprints on all four façades.

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094_MO_9301_500
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094_MO_9301_501

The materials come together. During rain, the concrete façade reflects like glass.

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Light closes and opens up the polycarbonate wall.

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Exterior and interior permeate each other.

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094_CP_9401_710_MS

Doors and windows are cut into the shell. Windows and façade form a maze.

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094_CP_9401_709_MS

The façade is assembled from narrow strips.

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094_CP_9412
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094_CP_9401_721_MS

Drawings

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094_DR_9301_500_site
094_DR_9301_501_floorpl
094_DR_9301_501_floorpl
094_DR_9301_502_sec
094_DR_9301_502_sec

Team

Facts

Client
Ricola AG, Laufen, Switzerland
Planning
Construction Management: Art et Industrie SARL, Hésingue, France
HVAC Engineering: SERAT, Uffholz, France
Structural Engineering : Ingenieurbüro Andreas Zachmann, Basel, Switzerland
Landscape Design: Kienast Vogt Partner, Zurich, Switzerland
Specialist / Consulting
Silkscreen Polycarbonate Panels: Marc Weidmann, Atelier Weidmann, Oberwil, Switzerland
Building Data
Footprint: 29'708 sqft, 2'760 sqm
Gross volume (GV): 508'531 cbft, 14'400 cbm
Links
www.ricola.ch

Bibliography

Gerhard Mack, Herzog & de Meuron: “Herzog & de Meuron 1992-1996. The Complete Works. Volume 3.” Edited by: Gerhard Mack. Chinese ed. Beijing, China Architecture & Building Press, 2010. Vol. No. 3.

Luis Fernández-Galiano (Ed.): “Arquitectura Viva. Herzog & de Meuron 1978-2007.” 2nd rev. ed. Madrid, Arquitectura Viva, 2007.

Fernando Márquez Cecilia, Richard Levene (Eds.): “El Croquis. Herzog & de Meuron 1981-2000. Between the Face and the Landscape. The Cunning of Cosmetics. Entre el Rostro y el Paisaje. La Astucia de la Cosmética.” 2nd adv. and rev. ed. Vol. No. 60+84, Madrid, El Croquis, 2005.

Nobuyuki Yoshida (Ed.): “Architecture and Urbanism. Herzog & de Meuron 1978-2002.” Tokyo, A+U Publishing Co., Ltd., 02.2002.

Herzog & de Meuron. Natural History.” Edited by: Philip Ursprung. Exh. Cat. “Herzog & de Meuron. Archaeology of the Mind.” Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal. 23 October 2002 – 6 April 2003. 2nd ed. Baden, Lars Müller, 2005.

Jacques Herzog, Sabine Kraft, Christian Kühn: “Mit allen Sinnen spüren. Jacques Herzog im Gespräch mit Sabine Kraft und Christian Kühn.” In: Sabine Kraft, Nikolaus Kuhnert, Günther Uhlig (Eds.). “Archplus. Zeitschrift für Architektur und Städtebau. Architektur natürlich.” Vol. No. 142, Aachen, ARCH+ Verlag GmbH, 07.1998. pp. 32-39.

“Wilfried Wang: Herzog & de Meuron.” 3rd adv. and rev. ed. Basel / Boston / Berlin, Birkhäuser, 1998. (= Studiopaperback).

Catherine Hürzeler, Jacques Herzog: “Collaboration with Artists. Catherine Hürzeler. Interview with Jacques Herzog.” In: “Herzog & de Meuron. Urban Projects. Collaboration with Artists. Three Current Projects.” Exh. Cat. “Architectures of Herzog & de Meuron. Portraits by Thomas Ruff.” TN Probe Exhibition Space, Tokyo. 22 November 1996 – 9 January 1997. Tokyo, TN Probe Toriizaka Networking, 1997. Vol. No. 4. pp. 49-71.

Herzog & de Meuron: “Ornament. Ricola Europe SA., Sportanlage Pfaffenholz, Bibliothek der Fachhochschulen Eberswalde, Griechisch-Orthodoxe Kirche in Zürich, Zwei Bibliotheken für den Campus von Jussieu.” In: Marc Fester, Sabine Kraft, Nikolaus Kuhnert (Eds.) et al. “Archplus. Herzog & de Meuron. Minimalismus und Ornament.” Vol. No. 129/130, Aachen, ARCH+ Verlag GmbH, 12.1995. pp. 25-56.

Jacques Herzog: “Recent Work of Herzog & de Meuron.” In: Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (Ed.). Columbia Documents of Architecture and Theory. Vol. No. 4, New York, Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, 1995. pp. 5-25.

Jacques Herzog: “Sui Materiali. On Materials.” In: Vittorio Magnago Lampugnani (Ed.). “Domus. Rivista Internazionale di Progetto. International Design Review.” Vol. No. 765, Milan, Editoriale Domus S.p.A., 11.1994. pp. 74-77.