Novartis Physic Garden / Thorbjörn Andersson + Sweco architects

  • 17:00 - 24 March, 2016
Novartis Physic Garden / Thorbjörn Andersson + Sweco architects, © Jan Raeber
© Jan Raeber

© Sweco Architects © Sweco Architects © Sweco Architects © Sweco Architects +52

  • Landscape Architect

    Thorbjörn Andersson with Sweco architects
  • Client

    Novartis Pharma
  • Consultants

    Schönholzer + Staufer GmbH/ Beat Rösch, Basler + Partner (structural engineering)
© Sweco Architects
© Sweco Architects

From the architect. The Physic Garden is a place to celebrate sensuous phenomena of all kinds. It is a place where mystic scents, changing colors, and seasonal variety can be enjoyed and studied. It is also a test bed for pharmacological research.

Shadow Plan
Shadow Plan

This Physic Garden at Novartis Campus is based on the monastery garden where, in ancient times, monks developed their knowledge about the pharmaceutical properties in plants, a knowledge that provided the foundation for today´s research efforts. These were often hidden places, laboratories in the outdoors, secluded from public life, containing secrets of utmost importance.

© Sweco Architects
© Sweco Architects

Consequently, the Physic Garden at Novartis is hidden, spatially organized as a theatre, or as a labyrinth, or as an onion with many layers. The garden is semi-enclosed, and the visitor enters through a zig-zag movement between backdrops of tall hedges of yew (Taxus) and beech (Fagus). The garden reveals itself step by step. The one who searches will find; a statement which is as relevant to the researcher of today as it was to the medieval monk.

View 4
View 4

Having arrived at the center, a sunken planting bed opens up, containing 31 species of pharmaceutical plants organized in a striped pattern. The slightly sunkenness of the basin adds to the preciousness of the plants, and placed inside the frame of a low granite wall, these fragile specimens become untouchable. They are viewed from slightly above, and we can read the flower bed as a colorful and textured painting or a striped carpet. Bridges of light construction, without railings, span the sunken bed, permitting the daring visitor a closer examination of the plants, each of which is labeled with an engraved bronze plaque mounted at the edge of the bed.

© Sweco Architects
© Sweco Architects
View 2
View 2
© Sweco Architects
© Sweco Architects

Along the sides of the sunken bed are four “log racks”, a collection of logs stacked in piles whose forms complement the screens of hedges, and are also reminiscent of a library. The types of wood selected represent tree species from which substances have been extracted and used in ethnopharmacology. All in all, 70 plant species are on display in the Physic Garden.

© Jan Raeber
© Jan Raeber
Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite: "Novartis Physic Garden / Thorbjörn Andersson + Sweco architects" 24 Mar 2016. ArchDaily. Accessed . <http://www.archdaily.com/784051/novartis-physic-garden-thorbjorn-andersson-plus-sweco-architects/>