Forum Ricola Kräuterzentrum. Roman pottery. Photograph: Serge Hasenböhler

The Forum at the Ricola Kräuterzentrum Laufen

The Forum of the Kräuterzentrum is a space for encounters centred on Ricola’s herbal expertise as well as on culture and sustainability. These values are conveyed visually, too, in part through the large windows that afford a view of the key activities of the Kräuterzentrum. Visitors can thus stand at the windows and watch processes such as the cutting, blending, and storing of herbs. The open sacks of dried herbs can be seen, smelled, and even touched. To underscore Ricola’s herbal expertise, there is also a vitrine containing a herbarium with over 8,000 wild plant specimens from Switzerland as well as various historical herbals. The space thus reflects both quality and culture. The Kräuterzentrum designed by the architects Herzog & de Meuron and built of rammed earth stands on a site where clay has been used to make bricks and ceramic wares for two thousand years. The Roman villa at Laufen-Müschhag was in fact located just a few hundred metres away, which is why the second vitrine contains some of the ancient pottery that was found there – pots made of the same material as was used to build the Kräuterzentrum itself. Also on show here are twelve landscapes by Albrecht Schnider from the Ricola Collection as well as drawings by Jacques Herzog. The room is not a visitors’ centre nor is it a conference room; it was rather deliberately conceived and furnished as a space that would conjure up associations with an Alpine hut or the parlour of a farmhouse or the refectory of a convent. [...]


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