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Olympic House, Lausanne, 3XN Architects, Itten+Brechbühl

Subtle Symbolism: Olympic House in Lausanne

The International Olympic Committee IOC unites its Lausanne work places, formerly scattered throughout the city, in its new headquarters. The building, which was planned by Denmark’s 3XN Architects in collaboration with Swiss studio Itten+Brechbühl, encompasses 24,000 square metres and offers space for 500 different jobs.

The new structure is determined by several key elements, including movement, flexibility and orientation towards the future. This is clearly reflected in the façade which, according to the architects “undulates in dynamic curves, symbolizing the dynamic of sports and the Olympic movement”. However, visitors do not experience the overall symbolic character of the building exclusively from ground level, but to a certain extent from above as well: the photovoltaic panels on the roof and the floor plans of the top three office levels are shaped like a stylized dove of peace.

The most spectacular symbol is not accessible to the public, yet for employees it forms the focal point of internal communication: at the centre of the building, a round atrium with a 16-m diameter houses ring-shaped stairways that connect the five different levels of the building. When employees look up, the rings seem to interconnect, as do the five Olympic rings. Each of the wood-clad, steel box-girder supports was lifted by crane into the atrium, welded in situ and connected to the ring-shaped steel supports found along the edge of the ceiling.

Maximum Flexibility
The building services, which feature cooling and heating ceilings, have been installed on a modular grid measuring 0.90 x 0.90 m, which can be seen in the ceiling plan. Three times three of these panels create a grid pattern of 2.70 m, onto which partition walls can be flexibly reconfigured in just a few hours. There is no orthogonal support grid; at the centre of each of the four wings, a cylindrical core of reinforced concrete bears a significant portion of the vertical load and reinforces the supporting structure. Along the double façade, 194 supports per office level, on a grid measuring 1.35 m, follow the incline of the exterior glass panes, which lean as far as 30 degrees towards the interior or exterior of the building.
The new headquarters of the IOC was shortlisted for the 2019 WAN Award in the category Completed Buildings  Office.

Kurze Werbepause

Further information:

Facade: Frener Reifer (Office floors), Roschmann (Ground floor)
Interior design: RBSGroup, Mailand

A detailed print documentation is available in our issue structure 3/2019.
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Further articles to the issue structure 3/2019 are available here.

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