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Project of the Month: Ricola Herb Center, Laufen, Switzerland

This unique building combines simple but striking architecture with clever functional design, all supported by 70 precast columns. Thanks to the innovative architecture, the building has become an attraction in its own right.

Quality, tradition, and innovation

Ricola is a family-owned company that uses fresh herbs in all their products. As a traditional Swiss brand, they place great importance on high quality, natural ingredients, and Swiss-made integrity. And they also value their long relationship with renowned architecture company Herzog & de Meuron.

Each building that Herzog & de Meuron designs is different and the herb center they designed for Ricola is one of their most individual creations. The building is unique in its combination of solid rammed earth walls and precast structural elements. Peikko’s bolted column connections helped make this innovative design possible, and significantly speeded up construction.

Ricola - Iwan Baan

Function and simplicity

While the design of Ricola’s herb center is attractive and minimalist, it is the choice of building materials that make it special. The solid rammed earth walls were selected for their properties and function, as well as their beauty. These rammed earth walls enable Ricola to precisely maintain the right level of temperature and humidity inside the building, and this lets them ensure the highest herb quality products. It is a simple and natural solution that eliminates the need for complicated humidity control equipment. Better still, all the loam and earth required for the walls was also sourced from the local Laufen valley.

“The precaster was so impressed that they selected Peikko’s bolted column connections for the construction of one of their own buildings and several more afterwards.”

Beautiful design with quick installation

Although they are not visible from the outside, a key part of the design is the 70 precast columns which support the rammed earth walls. These absorb wind forces and prevent the walls from tilting. This was the first time that the Swiss precast company MÜLLER STEINAG ELEMENT AG had experienced Peikko’s bolted column connections, however they appreciated the ease and speed of column erection, and they erected up to 17 column per day, including grouting.

Overall, everyone was pleased with the construction process and the finished building. The customer, Ricola, was delighted with their simple, beautiful, and functional new building. Architects Herzog & de Meuron were able to realize their unique vision and turn it into a reality. And the builders and precasters appreciated how easy bolted column connections made their work. In fact, one of the construction companies was so impressed that they selected Peikko’s bolted column connections for the construction of one of their own buildings and several more afterwards.


Project facts

  • Project size: 3000 m2
  • Developer: Ricola AG, Laufen, Switzerland
  • Construction Company: Priora Generalunternehmung AG, Kloten
  • Structural Designer: Schnetzer Puskas AG, Basel
  • Architect: Herzog & de Meuron
  • Delivery year: 2013
  • Completion year: 2014

Contact person

Inka Emich
Marketing Manager D-A-CH
Peikko Germany


Want to know more about our 30th anniversary of Bolted Column Connections?
Visit our campaign site here.