The new campus for the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) is named Artlab and consists of three programs – an Arts & Science Pavilion, a Technology & Information Gallery, and the Montreux Jazz Café. The three boxes are tucked under a grand pitched roof that stretches as long as 235m. Between each box, Kengo Kuma & Associates designed an aperture area that generates two axes. The two lines help to marshal the flow of people and reorganise all the buildings in the campus.
There is a Japanese saying, “living under one roof”, which means various and different individuals get together and team up, and Artlab is exactly the architectural translation of this expression.
For the structure and the exterior, the architects used timbers that are commonly found in Switzerland, in order to create space with local warmth. The wooden pillars are sandwiched with steel plates on both sides so that the space can be equally gentle and transparent. The roofing is in stone, which is based on the method applied in ordinary Swiss houses. The roof transfigures like origami according to the function underneath, and creates faces responding to light and shadow.
Design and info © Kengo Kuma & Associates