The City of Muttenz, Switzerland has commissioned Oppenheim Architecture to design the city’s new municipal water purification plant.
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 area to explain the complex purification process in such a stressed environment.
The unique and important function of the drinking water treatment plant is to create a new landmark for the town of Muttenz and the Basel area. The role of the architecture is to link the state-of-the-art technology with the natural ecosystem and to emphasize the importance of the purification process.
The engineering driven arrangement of the interior defines the form and the size of the building. Like a tight dress, the skin presses against it and reflects the technical inner life to the outside. Pipelines, filters, and apparatuses can be read through the façade in an abstract manner. The result is an expressive building, acting like an ‘objet trouvé’ in its natural context, reduced to its materiality and form.