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Community Centre, Switzerland, Localarchitecture

Phoenix from the Ashes: Community Centre in Le Vaud

The village of Le Vaud lies near Lake Geneva. From the plot of land for the multipurpose hall, visitors can see Mont Blanc on one side and the peaks of the Jura range on the other. With its parallel pitched roofs and raised roof edges along the two longer sides, the cubature of the building seems to want to emulate the bold Alpine silhouette. Moreover, the shape introduces an abstract touch to the village.

As a place for sports, performances of all kinds and community meetings, the building belongs to the public infrastructure of Le Vaud. It complements the spaces of the local school and creates new possibilities for the surrounding villages as well. It only makes sense that it is positioned on the main road between the village church and the school gate.

Inside, the dramatic geometry of the roof is scarcely perceptible. The interior space meets strict standards for places intended for sports and assemblies; the architects had more freedom when it came to the building’s shell. For instance, a symmetrical suspended ceiling has been hung beneath the asymmetrical gable of the gymnasium. All the installations have been mounted in a long gap at the highest point, leaving the rest of the ceiling bare.

Light floods in from all four sides. The longitudinal sides are completely glazed. The jut of the roof to the north shelters visitors from the elements; to the south it acts as a sunshade. On the gable sides, triangular windows echo the shape of the roof.

It is these very gable façades that bear the loads of the building. Combined with enormous wooden joists and prefabricated panels that take on both acoustic and static functions, these sides of the building represent the supporting structure. All the materials used here pay homage to the region: local wood has been used throughout the interior. The sandblasted concrete of the forecourt gives a nod to the existing school building; the cladding of sheet metal calls to mind the area’s farms.

Further information:

Constructed area: 1209 m2
Volume: 9207 m3

Current magazine
DETAIL 9/2021

Concept: Sports Facilities

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