Situated on the campus of the University of Lausanne, the new Institute unites four different entities researching and promoting the Sports Sciences under one roof.
The compact, almost cube-like building marks a clear presence along the highway, overlooking the athletic grounds along the lake shore. Its lightweight, almost-hovering expression contrasts with the heavy, introverted buildings in the context while integrating with the landscape.
Programmatically, the project consists mainly of individual and shared offices, meeting rooms, physical testing labs, classrooms and larger common spaces such as an auditorium and cafeteria. The competition brief presented two main challenges: how to unite four different organizations, each with their own sets of needs, into a single building with a collective identity; and how to design a building of representational character and ecological ambitions on an extremely tight budget. A porous core in the center of the building absorbs all the technical requirements and at the same time produces an internal landscape for informal study and chance encounters.
The building is extremely energy efficient. Its thermally activated slabs combined with its recycled concrete core provide optimum thermal inertia for year-round comfort while the ample daylight and naturally ventilated offices translate to minimal energy consumption.