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University Building in Lausanne

The elongated strip of the chemistry faculty building forms both a demarcation and a link between the university campus and the polytechnic. The two long faces of the structure are designed in different forms to tie together the built developments on each side. On plan, the building is divided into three zones, with a central services area and naturally lighted laboratory tracts on the two long faces. A single-storey structure, half sunk into the ground and set at right angles to this strip, creates a link to the pharmacy building opposite. The 3.60 m grid module represents the width of a working space. In the administrative tract, this is enlarged to 7.20 m. The load-bearing concrete structure consists of prestressed floor beams supported by the walls of the service core and by columns set back slightly from the façade. Strict security precautions have to be observed in this building. Escape routes were provided in the form of free-standing emergency staircases set in front of the west face, and escape and maintenance balconies extending round the entire building on ever floor. The latter also serve as a sunscreening device. In every laboratory section, escape doors have been installed in the large façade glazing elements. The cross-walls dividing the laboratories were glazed between the outer wall and the load-bearing structure to create a visual link along the length of the building. All window frames are in oak, which is resistant to chemical emissions.
This article is taken out of the following magazine:
DETAIL 8/1997

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