As part of an international design competition, Allied Works developed a master plan for a new cultural district in central Lausanne, Switzerland and a building design for the new Musée Cantonal des Beaux-Arts (MCBA). The overall design concept retains much of the site’s industrial architecture and includes the relocation of two innovative cultural institutions to the site: the Musée de Design et d’Arts Appliqués Contemporains (MUDAC) and the Musée de l’Elysée.
Located at the critical intersection of regional landscape and infrastructure and adjacent Lausanne’s main train station, Allied Works’ proposal integrates contemporary and historic form to create a beacon for the arts and powerful new urban gateway. The site becomes an interwoven precinct, a synthesis of cultural destinations, public infrastructure and landscape. The first phase of development proposes the creation of the new MCBA at the heart of the site, the restoration of the existing Locomotive Hall as a multi-purpose event space for public events, and the establishment of a continuous path through the cultural district known as the Arts Walk.
The forms and spaces of the new MCBA are both monumental and transparent. The four-story building marks the center of the new district and becomes a beacon for the arts that can be seen from all directions. The building’s geologic form is fractured by activity, providing glimpses into and through the building. Ideal gallery proportions establish a rhythm of space and structure along the Arts Walk and rail lines. Between galleries, deeply incised fissures combine structure, circulation and light – offering illumination to the galleries, providing views to the surrounding landscape and city and connecting the building vertically through these structural and spatial overlaps. The new architecture binds the city, landscape and art into one unified experience.