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After being announced that Dominique Perrault begins renovation work at Paris’ Longchamp
Racecourse, it’s now known that the architectural project the french designer signed for the suiss University is completed. The construction began back in the summer of 2012 and ended this may, in the campus of EPFL – Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland.
With a built area around the 20,800 sqm, the renowned research institute and university in western Switzerland, is one of the latest projects conducted by french firm Dominique Perrault architecture. The overall structure is very modern.
The former structure was initially constructed by Zweifel, Stricker and Associates team back in the early ’70s. However, the campus has been revised on a number of times, and in 2011, Dominique Perrault’s firm won a competition to rebuild the Mechanics hall.
The building comprises two independent wings connected by a large central atrium. With their own technical and circulation networks, the wings serve as two separate buildings — both respecting the campus’ original layout, reminding that the concept behind it was ‘a large-scale experimental playground’.
At night, the building is illuminated from within, giving it a gentle and welcoming look. Despite the fact that the campus is distant from other buildings, surrounded by a natural environment, the architecture makes it a modern, high approach. The façade comprises a metallic mesh that evokes an appropriate sense of mechanics and engineering at work.
A monochrome color palette is established, with raw concrete and metal walls, cement, and PVC flooring, while exposed services reference the building’s scientific purpose.
Spread across one basement level and five storeys above ground, the structure houses the administrative offices of the department of engineering, as well as some office space for the department of biology. Individual offices occupy a peripheral strip along the external façade, organized around a centrally positioned atrium that serves as the scheme’s ‘beating heart’. Here, stairways and corridors flow diagonally from one level to the next, and from one side to another.