Rehabilitation and extension of the Mechanical Engineering Halls and the Former Central Library and the construction of the Teaching Lab at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne.
The project to transform the former mechanical engineering halls and the central library of EPFL has been awarded to the Karl Steiner company. The architect is Dominique Perrault, who was responsible for France’s National Library, among other works. This building will house, in particular, the Center for Neuroprosthetics, which was launched at the end of 2008 and co-financed by the Bertarelli Foundation, the Defitech Foundation, the International Foundation for Research into Paraplegia (IRP) and the Sandoz Family Foundation.
The new “heart” of EPFL will be decked-out in grand style. Situated just up from the Rolex Learning Center, the mechanical engineering halls and the former central library will be completely transformed and extended.
At the end of the call for bids involving several main contractors, who in turn appointed renowned architects, it was the Swiss group Karl Steiner that won the business, thanks to the architectural designs of the Frenchman.
“The winning project convinced us because it establishes a strong link between the older buildings on the campus and the new constructions on the South side of the campus”, explains Francis-Luc Perret, Vice-President of EPFL, responsible for real estate and president of the jury. The architect has created a new, dynamic space, halfway between the Rolex Learning Center and the Center of Congress under construction on the North side.
In a second stage, a rather unusual building, the highest on the campus, may be constructed just up from the Avenue Piccard, which crosses the site from South to North. Dubbed the “Teaching Bridge” by the architect, this structure – subject to the availability of funding – will house several levels of buildings intended for teaching. “As well as giving back life and coherence to what is rather an oddly conceived passage, this new space dedicated to training puts the emphasis on the modern pedagogical forms that our school wishes to promote”, concludes Francis-Luc Perret, who is pleased to note that the architect has integrated in his reasoning a genuine urbanistic reflection “that creates a new dynamic at the heart of the campus”. (EPFL - press release)