Water purification plant and architecture? What’s the connection between the two? Yes, this is the usual doubt that crops up in our mind when we try to relate the two with each other. But if you see the Muttenz Water Plant you will realise that architecture and design have no boundaries.
There is nothing unusual about this water treatment plant and it just does what it is supposed to do. But it’s the design, by the Oppenheim Architecture, that makes all the difference. Miami, New York and Basel-based practice Oppenheim Architecture has done several masterpieces in the past and this water purification plant in a protected Swiss forest in Muttenz is one more addition.
The plant is a model of sustainability, extremely sensitive to its contrasting setting near the Rhine riverfront. Settled between the protected forest and the nearby industrial parks, the project exhibits an educational factor to express the complex purification process in such a stressed environment. “The unique and important function of the drinking water treatment plant is to create an expressive building – a new landmark for the town of Muttenz and the Basel area. The role of the architecture is to link and express the unique and state-of-the-art technology, placed in a natural ecosystem and emphasizing the importance of the purification process,” says Oppenheim Architecture.
The structure for the water treatment plant has been designed as a natural rock form made of a mixture of stone and clay. A rough facade of sprayed concrete is intended to attract a covering of moss and small plants over time. Meanwhile, the building’s external form is meant to express the technical processes going on inside.
Oppenheim is known to create building that can be part of the landscape and the Muttenz Water Plant is another example of their mission.