La Nouvelle Manufacture

Lausanne, Switzerland

The development of an urban design and master plan forms the basis for a new area where we literally put La Manufacture at the centre of a materialised stage, creating space for more experimental use. An urban design layered in height and the introduction of green and lively shared space. We include an ecological area in the plan, create social facilities on the plinth and introduce a varied programme. With this design, we create a sense of freedom within the city.

Client: SBB Immobilien, Regie Chamot & Cie SA
Year: 2021 – today
Status: Testplanning
Type: Area vision
Location: Lausanne, Switzerland
Program: Mixed used program
Urban planning: ECHO urban design & BETA office for architecture and the city
Landscape design: ECHO urban design
Architecture: BETA office for architecture and the city

The location exudes the potential to build on experimental and creative energy. A sense of freedom within the city.

An awkward spot, sandwiched between the tracks, right next to the monumental gallic viaduct, located in the fray around the centre of Lausanne.

At the heart of the site is the international dance and theatre school ‘La Manufacture, which is housed in an old diamond-cutting factory. After our site visits and conversations with the users, it became clear that we wanted La Manufacture to be central to the development. Visible, connected, experienceable and on a stage in the outdoor space. The outdoor space stimulates and activates movement, dance, performance, experimentation and meeting.

The concept was developed partly through discussions and dialogue rounds with stakeholders and interested parties.

We positioned the unique La Manufacture building on centre stage

The new La Manufacture will literally and figuratively be larger, more central and more open.
As a result, students, visitors and teachers will benefit from more opportunities in and around the building, and related developments can also merge into a coherent whole of buildings and outdoor spaces.

We embrace the area with nature and greenery

The desire for an ecological (compensation) landscape to the east of the planning area is both an inspiration and a breeding ground to experience and develop the entire area as an eco-neighbourhood. The landscape qualities of the eco-zone continue on the north and south sides of the site.

We provide firm densification that responds appropriately to the constellation of the current La Manufacture

The new La Manufacture is a connecting point within its surroundings.
The public and semi-public spaces open up the programme to the city. Students can rehearse, experiment, perform, take breaks and keep rethinking their relationship with the city in various surprising and inspiring places within the neighbourhood. As a city that connects to the neighbouring districts on a physical, programmatic and visual level.

The mix comprises an urban programme with a social and civic character.

New affordable housing for young people and students, a neighbourhood living room, sports hall, co-working spaces, hotel, food market and catering. The strengthening of the local (social) economyis accompanied by a strong relationship with the shared-space public area and ample space for slow traffic. The outdoor spaceis designed as a backbone of places that students, residents, passers-by, entrepreneurs and working city dwellers can use collectively and individually in various ways.

The Rue du Grand-Pré

Simple, solid and friendly. To complement the shared space, sturdy planters create a safe and peaceful place to stay. These elements consist of greenery on the ground level, where rainwater flows in, and greenery on higher ground. The slope of the street and the straight line of the planters create a seating edge on one side and a “standing-bar” for lunch or coffee breaks on the other side.

The Manufacture platform

Laid out in a simple and elegant way. The solid colored ground level is the element that stands out the most. The street furniture, which is made of Corten steel, forms a robust addition to the industrial character. These elements are on the one hand practical: for parking your bicycle, for street lighting and for leaning against the facade, on the other hand they are an invitation to perform.

The transition to the landscape

The edge of the Manufacture to the slope forms a soft transition to the landscape. The students can enter the landscape via stairs and sloping walls. Informal places are created for walking and spaces to dance.

The landscape on the slope

The landscape on the slope is a quiet space in which paths have been worn out by use. The layout of the landscape and the elements in it are less and less “designed”. The characteristic unevenness is reflected in an increasingly relaxed and natural landscape.

Want to DIVE

Robbert Jan can take you on a tour.