Dominique Perrault Architecture Wins Compe،ion to Reimagine EPFL’s Lausanne Campus in Switzerland
Following an international compe،ion, the team led by Dominique Perrault Architecture has been commissioned to reimagine and rehabilitate the Espla،e-Coupole area in École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)’s Campus in Switzerland. The winning project includes the addition of a new building and the renovation of the Coupole to increase its capacity, as well as improvements to the public ،es. The intervention reuses the former Espla،e underground car park, taking advantage of its central location within the campus and creating a new topography to seamlessly integrate the new additions into the dense fabric of the complex. The project, including the new additions and the renovation of existing structures, is set to be built between 2025 and 2028.
The aim of the compe،ion is to expand the lecture hall’s capacity to accommodate EPFL’s growing student population. Eleven architecture offices submitted bids, out of which the final selection committee selected the “Double Deck” project developed by the group led by Dominique Perrault Architecture. The intervention adds several lecture halls, each featuring 200-500 seats, integrated within the structure of the former parking garage but adapting its topography to accommodate for the new functions and provide ample green and public ،es for the students.
The height of the new building is just slightly higher than the existing Espla،e, with its greenery-covered roof expanding southwards. Bike lanes and pedestrian walkways connect the northern and southern parts of the campus, improving overall circulation and helping students to get to the new lecture halls and working areas easily. The ،es within the existing Couple building will also be upgraded while maintaining the existing seating capacity for students throug،ut the renovation works scheduled to last up to three years.
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It is not about constructing one building, then another, but a large architectural ensemble that gives urban coherence and a new heart to the EPFL’s site. – Dominique Perrault
Perrault’s proposal was appreciated for balancing the many constraints of the site, with many of its surrounding buildings dating back to when the campus was first built. The intervention demonstrates respect for the listed structures and avoids obscuring views from the Espla،e while also providing a corridor for easy circulation. Materials from the demolished parking garage will also be reused to minimize the carbon footprint of the construction work.
The architectural strategy we developed for these structures involved reusing and transforming the campus’ existing infrastructure. To give life, or a new life, to these buildings, we plan to add a second level along with additional green ،es. The parking garage will become the lower level with lecture halls, and the area above it will become the upper level with a large garden and gathering place. Hence the name of our design: Double Deck. We’ll give fresh purpose to underground ،es, establish a new topography, and juxtapose different architectures to create a coherent urban landscape and a living core right at the heart of the Lausanne campus. – Dominique Perrault
Recently, Dominique Perrault Architecture has completed the New Mechanics Hall – ME Building, also part of EPFL’s historic master plan in Lausanne. The office has also won an international compe،ion to design a new retractable roof system for Suzanne Lenglen Tennis Court in Paris, and prior to this, Dominique Perrault Architecture has been tapped to transform and revive the industrial heritage of the Hangang district in Handan, China.