Herzog & de Meuron Basel Ltd.
4056 Basel, Switzerland
Phone: +41 61 385 5757
In 1996, the Davines cosmetics firm launched a number of new product lines to be supplied direct from Parma to select hairdressing salons and spas. The new complex between a highway and a stream was to incorporate production, storage, distribution and management facilities while at the same time projecting the company’s image as a manufacturer of natural products using natural processes.
Herzog & de Meuron structured this considerable volume into a complex of separate buildings recalling the farmsteads of the Po Valley and Tuscany, and thus paying homage to the rural surroundings and Parma’s agricultural heritage. At the same time, they imbued the new company headquarters with a sense of artifice that reflects the processing of natural materials in cosmetics: a large roof binds the complex and creates shady outdoor spaces and walkways through the grounds. Instead of huge logos, the halls have transparent walls that allow drivers on the thruway glimpses of the production process in much the same way that the liquids shimmer through the large containers in which they are processed and stored. This water metaphor also returns in the fluid patterns of the extruded metal cladding and in the landscaped grounds with their plants and pools, designed in collaboration with Michel Desvigne, which catch the eye when passing along the highway. The theme of nature continues in the exhibition pavilion with its airy, organic partition walls of suspended fabrics made of pressed rather than woven fibers.
Temporary pavilion for the Cosmoproof Exhibition, Bologna then it traveled to different countries