Herzog & de Meuron has completed a herb processing plant with rammed earth walls for Swiss herbal sweet manufacturer Ricola.

The Kr√§uterzentrum, which translates as herb centre, is the sixth project Ricola have commissioned Herzog & de Meuron to work on.

The herb centre is predominantly built from earth extracted from local quarries and mines and features thick, dense walls that help to regulate the temperature and humidity inside the building.

Comprising a mixture of clay, marl and soil, the loam was prefabricated in a nearby factory, compacted in a formwork and then layered in blocks to build the walls.

Unlike other rammed earth buildings, which have cement added to the mix of earth to preserve it, the Kräuterzentrum mixes a volcanic tuff (trass) and lime mortar into every 8 layers of the earth formwork to help prevent erosion caused by wind and rain.

The self-supporting facade is lined internally with load-bearing concrete walls, while the roof is covered with photovoltaic panels that provide a source of sustainable energy.

Image: Lehm Ton Erde Baukunst GmbH

Image: Lehm Ton Erde Baukunst GmbH

Image: Lehm Ton Erde Baukunst GmbH

Courtesy Tree Hugger and Dezeen