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Jardin Sauvage – a Collective Pharmacy

Peppermint on the banks of the River Rhine, lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) at the theatre, meadow sage (Salvia pratensis) just round the corner – the Jardin Sauvage turns the city into a harvest field.

A pharmacy of a different kind is being built on the banks of the Rhine below Novartis Campus: plants collected in the city are gathered here to establish a stock of medicinal herbs. The riverside promenade below Novartis is turned into a place dedicated to herbal medicine to make this ancient knowledge accessible to the public again. The Jardin Sauvage aims to sensitize people to the diversity of medicinal plants in a supposedly grey, urban environment.

After a harvesting tour through the city, the harvest can be donated to the collective pharmacy and the common herb stock can, thereby, be increased. Dried herbs can be taken from the herb store as needed. The pharmacy serves both as a place for imparting knowledge and as an expert centre. Here, not only professional advice may be obtained, but also plant identifications or references to currently flowering plants.

The pharmacy considers itself a complement to the pharmaceutical products of Novartis, whose buildings in the background rise into the sky. It strives to show a different approach to medicine and expand the view of standard pharmaceutical products available on the market. It puts people in a position to treat themselves in case of everyday diseases and, thus, reduces their dependence on the pharmaceutical industry.

Jardin Sauvage wants to raise awareness of nature in our city. It is a place of knowledge transfer and exchange, to meet and slow down – and also simply a kitchen for fragrant herbal infusions.

Author: Lea Kuhn, Institute of Interior Design and Scenography,BA thesis, 2014

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