Architects: meta Landschaftsarchitektur 

Typology: Open space

Location: Laufen BL, Switzerland 

Construction Date: 2017 -2020

Photos by: Fotografie Halmeskobel

The Kirchgarten project was realised between 2017 and 2020 in the small town of Laufen near Ba-sel. It is located in theLaufental on the Birs, a river that flows into the Rhine in Basel. The region is located in the CH-F-D border triangle and is characterised by its cross-border relations.

The project is located not far from the city centre with the historic town centre, on land owned by the Catholic Church. In addition to the neo-Gothic church from 1914, the rectory and the parish office are also in the direct vicinity.

The starting point for the project development was the wish of the parish to develop existing land reserves and to give them to an investor in building rights. In order to allow for a higher structural utilisation on the building lease plot, the parish agreed to create a public open space between the new housing development and its own existing buildings.

At this point, our office came to the project, and we developedan overall concept with the aim of achieving a revitalisation of the public spaces through the project and linking existing settlement fragments. By working together with all parties involved – the investor of the housing develop-ment, the landowner of the catholic parish and the city of Laufen – wewere able to develop com-mon goals and find synergies.

The result is a sequence of different open spaces connected by a network of public paths. The pub-lic park with the large playground forms the centre. At the transition to the housing estate, a 100-year-old lime tree was preserved, which leads into a courtyard space that provides access to the residentialbuildings. The entire perimeter is traffic-free. This results in an open space that offers the entire neighbourhood space for appropriation and social exchange.

On the vegetative level, elements of the landscape are interlinked. Local tree species are combined with meadows and wild shrub areas, which have a strong atmospheric as well as ecological value. They also serve to locally infiltrate rainwater.