The Physic Garden – Novartis Campus, Basel, Schweiz

A garden for the senses

When it transpired that the Novartis campus area was situated on an old Celtic settlement, it became the starting point for an idea for a labyrinthine physic garden. This was landscape architect Thorbjörn Andersson's thinking when he received the enquiry to develop a part of the pharmaceutical company Novartis' campus area in Basel.


Fifteen selected international architects were invited by Novartis in connection with the company creating a campus area for research, with innovation, knowledge and meetings as important foundation stones. Sweco's landscape architect Thorbjörn Andersson was one of those selected.

Novartis' idea for the campus was to create an area where streets, parks and blocks merge into a total environment. The architectonic unity will contribute to the corporate culture and attract the top quality researchers, enabling them to flourish, cooperate and perform.

Thorbjörn Andersson divided the park into two phases, one designed as the druids' forest with roots in the Celtic settlement which was previously located in the area, and the other as a modern interpretation of a monastery garden. The garden is created as a labyrinth of vegetation and plants where the visitor is led onward into the heart of the garden. There are 32 different kinds of medicinal plants representing medicines for all parts of the body, including blood circulation, skin and the respiratory system, with a total of 83 different plants in the whole garden. The Physic Garden represents and symbolises Novartis' operations, but it is primarily a place for the senses, where mystical scents, changing colours and the seasonal variations can be enjoyed.


Novartis Campus


Basel, Schweiz




Completed in 2012


2 800 m2


Landscape architecture


Pål Svensson (sculptures), Alexander Cederroth (light), Markus Moström (graphic design)

Point of contact

Thorbjörn Andersson

Share project:

More projects