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Multi-purpose hall, Lausanne

Multi-purpose hall, Brillantmont International School, Lausanne (Photo: Thomas Jantscher)
Multi-purpose hall, Brillantmont International School, Lausanne (Photo: Thomas Jantscher)
Multi-purpose hall, Brillantmont International School, Lausanne (Photo: Thomas Jantscher)
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Stealth underground

Stealth underground

LAUSANNE (CH) - Anyone visiting the Brillantmont International School campus might find it hard to identify its new multi-purpose hall. Apart from a set of hardly noticeable skylights and a small entrance body at the end of the sports field, there is hardly any visible evidence of its bunker-like existence.

More than just being stealthy, however, the underground approach is a response to a series of problems posed by the given intervention plot, which is very restricted, as well as by its relation to a set of listed buildings, themselves sited in a listed historical garden. Having the multi-purpose hall dive into the earth was the solution that Frei Rezakhanlou architectes applied, allowing the existing, open sports field to remain in place without taking useable building space away from the campus. This avoids conflict with the garden and its trees and permits uninterrupted views of the existing buildings.

Multi-purpose hall, Brillantmont International School, Lausanne (Photo: Thomas Jantscher)
Multi-purpose hall, Brillantmont International School, Lausanne (Photo: Thomas Jantscher)
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The programmatic composition is clear: stage, foyer, music room and balcony are organized around the main room, a sports hall able to convert into a concert hall with the capacity to welcome 350 seated people. Golden curtains slide along the openings to each of these elements, permitting different appropriations of the spaces according to the usage of the core.

Multi-purpose hall, Brillantmont International School, Lausanne (Photo: Thomas Jantscher)
Multi-purpose hall, Brillantmont International School, Lausanne (Photo: Thomas Jantscher)

At the cardinal points, four bodies emerge from each of the programmatic elements to provide them with light: the access and main circulation to the east, balcony to the north, foyer to the south and stage to the west. Working together, these elements allow glimpses towards the other campus buildings and the trees in the garden, creating a comfortable atmosphere of diffuse daylight that should prevail over the feeling of being underground.

Multi-purpose hall, Brillantmont International School, Lausanne (Photo: Thomas Jantscher)
Multi-purpose hall, Brillantmont International School, Lausanne (Photo: Thomas Jantscher)
Tuesday | 19 February | 2013 | Switzerland | Luís Castanheira Loureiro
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