Oppenheim Architecture recently completed the City of Muttenz's new municipal water purification plant. The plant is a model of sustainability and extremely sensitive to its contrasting setting near the Rhine riverfront. Nestled between the protected forest and the nearby industrial parks, the project also holds an exhibition and educational area that explains the complex purification process.
The function of the drinking water treatment plant is to create a new landmark for the town of Muttenz and the Basel area. The architecture expresses the unique and state-of-the-art technology held within and emphasizes the importance of the purification process.
The building sits inside a lush green forest next to the river Rhein. This contrasting context - the natural and the industrial - is expressed in the architectural concept. The drinking water purification plant houses a state of the art 3-phased process that ensures the highest quality of water for the citizens of Muttenz. 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 represents the technical inner life to the outside. Pipelines, filters, and apparatuses can be read through the façade abstractly. The result is an expressive building, acting as an 'objet trouvé' in its natural context and reduced to its materiality and form.
Photography: Börje Müller