(*)In 2011 Barozzi/Veiga won the international competition for the masterplan of the new Art district in Lausanne, Switzerland – Platform 10 – and the design of the Fine Arts Museum.
The museum is organized on three floors connected by the continuous void of the foyer that structures the circulation.
On the ground floor contains all the social functions of the program: foyer, bookshop, restaurant, auditorium and temporary gallery for contemporary art. The façade on that level is very porous, for these internal functions to be in continuity with the exterior public space of the plaza. On the higher levels, on both sides of the foyer, are organized the exhibition spaces. The permanent gallery in the East is separated from the temporary gallery in the West, and can be visited together or in parallel thanks to independent vertical circulations, allowing future comprehensive exhibitions as well as smaller capsule collections. The connection in the permanent exhibition is conceived as a social and event space, a staircase as an auditorium for smaller lectures or inaugurations.
The building offers two facades, one opaque to the south and a more open and animated to the north, creating a dialogue with the new plaza. The North façade’s light exposure is minimized by deep vertical fins in between which are pierced tall and large windows. The fins are designed to prevent direct sunlight from ever entering the light-sensitive zones of the building. The upper floor is naturally lit from north oriented modular sheds designed to filter and adjust the solar light. The sheds possess an internal system of blinds to allow a meticulous control of the amount of light entering the rooms as well as the possibility of a dimmed atmosphere.
The brick facades evoke the industrial history of the site and offer a texture, a vibrant pattern to the monolith. On the plaza, the vertical blinds’ rhythm break the massiveness of the monolith and reveal the openings. At night, the blinds serve as a canvas to diffuse the light coming from the museum, transforming the façade to the plaza.
The founding idea of the plazas’ urban design is to create an exterior public space in dialogue with the museums. Like the buildings, it integrates fragments of its industrial past, the rails and the turning plate. Some tall trees will also be planted in order to reinforce its place in the public space continuum with the train station plaza.