Freidorf Muttenz

Freidorf Muttenz
Muttenz, Switzerland

The Freidorf housing estate is the most important housing development in Switzerland from the period between the world wars and the first full cooperative in Switzerland.

Garden City Type: Cooperative
Country: Switzerland
City: Muttenz
Years of construction:
1919 Start construction
1921 Completion
Initiator/client: Verband Schweizerischer Konsumvereine
Architect or related:
Hannes Meyer

Hannes Meyer (18 November 1889 - 19 Juli 1954) was a Swiss architect and urbanist and, from 1928 on, director of Bauhaus Dessau.

Heritage status: Yes
The townscape of the Freidorf has been classified by both the federal government and the canton of Basel-Landschaft as being of national importance in the course of the inventory of Swiss sites worthy of protection (Inventars der schützenswerten Ortsbilder der Schweiz, or ISOS). A corresponding Federal Council ordinance (VISOS) has been in force
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General condition of Garden City: Good condition

General description

The Swiss settlement of Freidorf belongs to Muttenz in the  canton of Basel-Landschaft. It was founded in 1921 by the Verband Schweizerischer Konsumvereine or VSK (Association of Swiss Consumer Associations). Its then president, Bernhard Jäggi, was the driving force behind the founding of the garden city; after its completion, he moved into an apartment in the Freidorf himself.

Architecture / Urban planning

150 terraced houses are arranged in a triangular area surrounded by a low wall, each with small front gardens and rear kitchen gardens. The entire settlement is heavily greened with rows of trees. In the center of the village there is a square, also shaded by trees, which is intended as a playground and is decorated with a fountain and an obelisk monument.

Architect Meyer apparently himself described the Freidorf as 'half monastery and institution, half garden city and Jura village'.

A large cooperative house was built between 1922 and 1924 in the center of the settlement, which served a variety of cooperative activities with large meeting rooms and numerous rooms. It became the seat of the cooperative seminar and, in 1927, the foundation for the formation of integral cooperatives by Henri Lasserre.

Freidorf BL LBS 10159Graf Zeppelin with left the triangular Freidorf, 1923-1926. (ETH-Bibliothek Zürich, Bildarchiv/Stiftung Luftbild Schweiz)


  • Website URL

    Wikipedia [in German]

  • Publication

    Siedlungsgenossenschaft Freidorf (Hg.), Das Freidorf - Die Genossenschaft. Leben in einer aussergewöhnlichen Siedlung (Christoph Merian Verlag, 2019).