Forgotten icon: EPFL's La Buvette d'Evian project
Client: Bund Schweizer Architekten und EPFL
Architects: Studierende am ALICE, EPFL
Location: Lausanne (CH) und Évian-les-Bains (FR)
Although Buvette d'Evian by Jean Prouvé and Maurice Novarina at Lake Geneva is listed as a French cultural monument and considered a masterpiece of modern architecture, it has almost fallen into oblivion. Wanting to change this, the Swiss Association of Architects has teamed up with the EPFL (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) to bring La Buvette back to life.
150 architecture students from the first year of the EPFL's Design Studio on the Conception of Space programme (ALICE) are examining examples of several wooden installations and designs around Lake Geneva to determine which relevant variables play a role in helping to preserve local ecosystems. Through this project, which the EPFL's Laboratory of Techniques and Preservation of Modern Architecture (TSAM) has already worked on, the students are also contributing towards Lausanne's bid to host the International Union of Architects' 2023 World Congress.
Dieter Dietz, an EPFL professor and the director of ALICE, positions the students' work as part of a new, three-part project called Becoming – a concept of architecture that upholds a new system of ecological values for the built environment.