Selected in Lausanne

Good news, the urban perspective of BETA architecture & the city and ECHO urban design will form the basis for a new mixed urban area around the existing dance and theater school of 'La Manufacture' in Lausanne.

Last year we worked on our plan ‘La Nouvelle Manufacture’ in three competition phases and various presentations, dialogues, and site visits in Lausanne. The Swiss Railways (SBB/CFF), developer Regie Chamot & Cie, Haute Ecole La Manufacture and Ville de Lausanne have now unanimously selected the perspective in our proposal for further development. 

We were immediately triggered by this assignment. A tricky spot, enclosed between train-tracks, right next to the monumental Gallic viaduct, located in the fringe surrounding the center of Lausanne. The location exudes the potential to build on an experimental and creative energy. The feeling of freedom in the city.

At the heart of the venue is the international dance and theater school ‘La Manufacture; which is housed in an old diamond polishing factory. After our site visits and conversations with the users, it became clear that we want to manifest La Manufacture at the heart of the development. Visible, connected, experienceable and on a stage in the outdoor area. The outdoor space stimulates and activates movement, dance, performance, experiment, and encounter.

The wish for an ecological (compensatory) landscape to the east of the plan area is an inspiration and a breeding ground for seeing the entire area and designing it as an eco-district. The landscape qualities of the ecozone continues in the north and south sides of the site. In the newly designed Rue du Grand-Pré, the flowery and dry meadows (des prés fleuris et sèches) on the south side and the park-like shrubland landscape on the north side meet and form a coherent whole where the landscape and the city have a playful encounter .

The urban planning organization continues the characteristic of the organically grown factory. A gradient is applied here from an urban feeling to the connection with the surrounding neighborhoods. The carefully placed volumes create a sequence of public space, places, and squares for various target groups, designed from a human scale, experience and quality of stay.

The program mix consists of urban programs with a social and societal character. New affordable housing for young people and students, a neighborhood living room, sports hall, co-working spaces, hotel, food market and catering. Strengthening the local (social) economy goes hand in hand with a strong relationship with the shared space public space with ample space for slow traffic. The outdoor space is designed as the backbone of spaces that students, residents, passers-by, entrepreneurs and working city dwellers can use collectively and individually in various ways.

For ECHO Urban Design this assignment means a new step in our international growth. After the win in Prague, Bern and Zurich, we are now very proud of this development in Lausanne.
One of the connecting factors in these projects are old and new layers that meet in a spectacular way. We use urban design in these projects to build the future upon the echoes of the past. 

 A public exhibition will be organized this fall. You will be kept informed of the location and dates.