Evolution Square, Roche Rotkreuz, Zurich, Switzerland

Reclining Monoliths

Client: Roche Diagnostics AG
Architecture: Burckhardt + Partner AG
Period: 2008 – 2011
Surface area: 7 600m2


The new central plaza, the socalled Evolution Square is the agora of the Roche Diagnoctics Site in Rotkreuz at the Lake Zug. A welcoming area for visitors and employees has been created between the administrative highrise building, the visitor center and the cafeteria - an open air meeting point for all, a place to take a break and for events to take place. The continous surface of refinded beige brown asphalt creates a generous functional open square, which has a clear distinction to the surrounding asphalt of the industrial site.

The design concept relates to the geology, morphology, topography and vegetation of the site, which was linked in former times to Lake Zug. The new planting correlates the wetlands, which also includes trees many thousand years back. Seeds and traces of these plants of  the Late Tertiary can still be found in the soil.  

The themes of water, fossilisation and vegetation have been evloved in a new context. Giant redwoods, black gum trees, swamp magnolia and bald cypress provide shelter and shade.  Giant redwood  fossilised  trunks of concret  appear from below the ground. Only parts of the stems can be seen on the surface – the main part of the trunk is still below ground level.
Over time they will be covered with moss and lichen. These trunks can also be seen from  the top floors of  the surrounding builidings. Besides relating to the size of the overall site, the trunks and the planting create something to which one can also relate from above.