Intervening on Place Cosandey onthe EPFL campus in Écublens is, now more than ever, building on the area which is destined to become the great cultural, artistic and scientific hub of the Lake Geneva Metropolis. The continuous urban building on the north shore of the lake was already interpreted in the 1970s by Jakob Zweifel during his project for the mega-structure planned to house the first EPFL schools.
An agora forthe Lake Geneva metropolis
Intervening on Place Cosandey onthe EPFL campus in Écublens is, now more than ever, building on the area which is destined to become the great cultural, artistic and scientific hub of the Lake Geneva Metropolis. The continuous urban building on the north shore of the lake was already interpreted in the 1970s by Jakob Zweifel during his project for the mega-structure planned to house the first EPFL schools. Ecublens then began to become a location that no longer belonged to Lausanne only, but alsoto the entire metropolis that stretched out along the shore. Now is the time toupdate the masterplan which has enabled the creation of a campus to put the district at the service of Geneva-Lausanne continuity.
Place Cosandey is doomed to function as a socio-economic interface between the traditionally introverted university domain and the urban reality that surpasses it. As if a Grand Place were involved, this place materializes the idea of a “window with occasional escapes” in a clearway: on clear days, the views over the district of St Sulpice make it possible to see the lake and the mountains on the other side, shifting the center of gravity of the campus towards the South, towards the road which connects at suburban speed the poles which point on the Lake Geneva.
It is time to define a new infrastructure which, with the help of the specific metropolitan scale of the place, can recover the spirit of the previous interventions, with regard to the dimension, the system and the program, activating from this the Cosandey Square way.
A plaza, a stage, a curtain
The location of the project calls for a categorical urban intervention, optimistic in its condition as an active facade of public space, capable of qualifying Place Cosandey and developing a discourse of continuity in terms of institutional representativeness,
The new building must articulate the different programmatic poles that organize the campus, creating a new continuity through the development of the new programs offered and its establishment on the square as a whole. The project must effectively extend the vitality of the Esplanade southward, expanding the community experience of the use of public space and definitively ordering the campus, shifting and activating its center of gravity.
Understanding the double scale necessary for the intervention leads us to group the pavilions into a whole whose scale belongs to the campus. A volume-container which, through a classic square layout, configures Cosandey Square thanks to its length and section, near the ME building and the Rolex Learning Center.
Pavilions for the EPFL
Competition 2012, Finalist
Surface: 60.000 m2
Location: Lausanne, Switzerland
Pablo Oriol, Fernando Rodríguez
Elena García, Laura Ordóñez, Rocío García, Patricia Báscones, Carmen Sanz, María Domínguez, Inés Olavarrieta, Miguel Quezada