Diener & Diener Architekten, Basel - mit Helmut Federle und Gerold Wiederin
2003 - 2005
The Room of Plants in the Novartis office building houses a large variety of plants, distributed much as they would be in their natural habitats into ground, bush, and tree levels. The selection refers to the different characteristics of these plants – from the medicinal to the purely decorative.
In the intensive environment of daily work, this ”Space for Plants” also offers a welcome diversion within the normal course of office life. On entering the Plant Rooms, people directly experience an abundance of impressions through their senses: constantly changing views of the plants and the smell of growth and decay. Similar to an urban passageway, one is immersed for a brief moment in time into a different climate, while the façades are turned into backdrops. Analogous to the actual rain forest, each storey presents another view of nature through its windows: giant tree trunks from the first floor, some of them up to twelve metres high and weighing over ten tons; dense branches, orchids and rampant greenery from the second floor; and the tangled foliage of treetops and lianas from the third and fourth floors.