Dominique Perrault Wins Competition for Esplanade Tower in Fribourg


Dominique Perrault Architecture, the French practice recently awarded with the opportunity to build a tower called The Blade in Seoul as part of Daniel Libeskind’s master plan, has now been announced as winner of a concept/construction international competition for the Esplanade Tower in downtown , Switzerland.  The high rise is part of regeneration project of the Swiss Federal Railways at the site of the former Pilettes Station.

More after the break.


By 2015, the Esplanade Tower will fit into Fribourg’s skyline.  The tower is a 60 meter glass skyscraper of 18 floors that is anticipated to become a landmark of the new downtown.  The downtown area has a long and rich history.  It is layered with the transformation of its historic districts, stratified along lower and upper terraces.

Site Plan © DPA / ADAGP

The tower’s facades respond to the conditions of its placement.  The north-west side, which faces the former station, is smooth and austere.  The south-east side, facing the medieval town and the urban developments, is expressive – full of corbellings and balconies – inciting a dialogue between the historic face of the city and its new developments.


The tower will be mixed use, including a commercial area, office spaces, a restaurant and housing.

Architect:  Dominique Perrault Architecture
Location: Place de l’Esplanade, Fribourg, Switzerland
Client: FFS Federal Railways, Lausanne, Switzerland
Site Area: 5 000m²
Built Area: 13 000m²
Built Volume: 6 000m³ (superstructures)
Tower’s Height: 61,5 meters
Floors: 18
Commercial Area: 1,220 m² SBP
Office: 5,990 m² SBP
Restaurant: 1,820 m² SBP
Housing: 3,680 m² SBP

Cite: Vinnitskaya, Irina. "Dominique Perrault Wins Competition for Esplanade Tower in Fribourg" 02 Jul 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 30 May 2015. <>