EPFL Pavillons

Place Cosandey, the site for three future pavilions—the Montreux Jazz Lab, a museum, and a visitors' center—will play a critical role in the urbanistic development of the EPFL campus. Place Cosandey and its surrounding grassy fields are now the campus' primary open spaces at ground level. Our proposed vertical stacking of the three programs not only minimizes use of the campus' limited open spaces, but also allows each pavilion to interact with the campus in the particular way that suits it best.

At ground level is the Montreux Jazz Lab, which has the potential to be an around-the-clock hot spot of EPFL social life. It is formed by a multitude of platforms for performers as well as for spectators, some inside and some out, some big and others small. A wide variety of possible layouts allows for specific ambiances for each type of event. The big central stage can be used as an elevated seating area for the "grand café" during most of the week, and then isolated spatially and acoustically, by a series of mobile walls, during concerts. The restaurant, "Backstage," can function independently but is linked to the Montreux Jazz Lab by a spacious "Backstage" corridor that is considered to be another stage, a junction where all the different functions of the Jazz Lab can collide.

On the roofs of the Jazz Lab, the outdoor vegetated platforms of the "Sound Garden" allow for unobstructed views of the mountains and lake and provide the EPFL and its visitors with a stage for experimental performances, animating and urbanizing the campus.

Above the Sound Garden is the Cultural and Artistic Pavilion. The main level of this pavilion is one large exhibition space with natural, zenithal light and no structure besides the enclosing walls and the three cores. The "technical floor" directly beneath contains all the (highly visible) structure and support services and could be integrated into a show if wished, to contrast the more generic aspect of the white cube.

Topmost is the Welkom pavilion, which would provide 360-degree views of campus and, most notably, of the iconic Rolex Learning Center roof. To provide these unobstructed views, the roof is made of an über-light structural material, Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP). In addition to its astonishingly thinness, FRP gives a very specific architectural language to the new building.