Within just a couple of years, nature is expected to claim the facade of this municipal water-purification plant near Basel, Switzerland. Sprayed in a mix of Shotcrete and local clay, the low-maintenance, adobe-like exterior will act as a coarse, porous substrate for moss and other vegetation, transforming the instant landmark into a curious verdant hillock on the boundary between a protected forest and an industrial park. The state-of-the-art water-purification equipment inside shapes the building’s expressive and crumpled form, seemingly vacuum-sealed around pipelines, filters and other apparatuses. In response to its setting, the architects’ baseline concept for the project was to combine the natural and industrial worlds by building with nature and not on top of it.
Project Muttenz Water Purification Plant Location Muttenz, Switzerland Firm Oppenheim Architecture Europe, Switzerland Team Chad Oppenheim with Beat Huesler Photo Aaron Kohler