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  1. ArchDaily
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  4. Switzerland
  5. Richter Dahl Rocha & Associés
  6. 2014
  7. Richter Dahl Rocha Develops Innovative Façade for SwissTech Convention Center

Richter Dahl Rocha Develops Innovative Façade for SwissTech Convention Center

  • 01:00 - 3 April, 2014
Richter Dahl Rocha Develops Innovative Façade for SwissTech Convention Center
Richter Dahl Rocha Develops Innovative Façade for SwissTech Convention Center, Grätzel façade. Image Courtesy of SwissTech Convention Center and Northern District
Grätzel façade. Image Courtesy of SwissTech Convention Center and Northern District

Richter Dahl Rocha & Associés' "ultramodern" SwissTech Convention Center opened its doors today. Housing a 3,000-seat modular amphitheater which can be converted from conference auditorium, to exhibition hall, to banquet room in only fifteen minutes, the convention center is the first large-scale convention hall to use EPFL's dye-sensitized solar cells (also known as Grätzel Cells).

This latest addition to the campus's northern quarter already contains a collection of commercial stores and over 500 housing units. Its construction puts the finishing touch too what has been described as a "living campus where students can now stay on campus both night and day."

Visualisation (Summer). Image Courtesy of SwissTech Convention Center and Northern District
Visualisation (Summer). Image Courtesy of SwissTech Convention Center and Northern District

"The Congress Center, positioned like a 'beveled stone' at the campus’ northern gradually detaches from the ground while releasing a large glass surface facing south and north allowing natural light into the vast conference room. The latter can be subdivided into different configurations – from several small rooms up to a flat large room used for banquets and other events. These partitions are possible thanks to systems of movable walls and retractable seats."

Section. Image Courtesy of SwissTech Convention Center and Northern District
Section. Image Courtesy of SwissTech Convention Center and Northern District
Auditorium Visualisation. Image Courtesy of SwissTech Convention Center and Northern District
Auditorium Visualisation. Image Courtesy of SwissTech Convention Center and Northern District

"The supporting structure of the center, shaped like a catamaran, is made of two large three-dimensional metallic beams supported on two pairs of reinforced concrete service cores that are located at the center and north of the building. On the south, these beams are cantilevered. The anodized aluminum external coating contrasts with the more intimate and refined character of the natural wood interior trim. In turn, the light interior coating contrasts with the vertical cores imposing presence and with the large hall balconies."

Grätzel façade. Image Courtesy of SwissTech Convention Center and Northern District
Grätzel façade. Image Courtesy of SwissTech Convention Center and Northern District

"300 square meters of dye photovoltaic cells are integrated into the western façade of the building. This constitutes the first application of this technology on a public building. The translucent panels make use of an invention by Michael Grätzel, a researcher at EPFL. Apart from being translucent, the angle of incidence of light makes no difference to the cells, which can be vertically deployed without any loss in performance. In addition to generating electricity from renewable sources, they protect the building from direct sunlight and thus reduce the necessity for using cooling energy." This could be a first stage towards their more widespread production and use.

Light on Ground. Image Courtesy of SwissTech Convention Center and Northern District
Light on Ground. Image Courtesy of SwissTech Convention Center and Northern District

"Due to the unstable terrain where it was built, the center rests on 200 piles. Five of them are experimental thermic piles with a depth of 20 meters. They are embedded in concrete and do not only constitute structural foundation and support elements, but also function as heat exchangers."

  • Architects

  • Location

    Route de Blévallaire, University of Lausanne, 1015 Ecublens, Switzerland
  • Interior Designer

    RDR Design SA
  • Landscaping

    L'Atelier du Paysage Jean-Yves Le Baron
  • Civil Engineers

    Ingeni, Daniel Willi
  • Facade Engineering

    BCS
  • Ventilation Engineering

    RG Riedweg & Gendre
  • Sanitary Engineering

    Duchein
  • Electrical Engineering

    Betelec
  • Acoustic Engineering

    AAB J-Stryjenski, H. Monti
  • Safety Engineering

    Hautle Anderegg + Partner
  • Geotechnical Engineering

    Karakas & Français
  • Area

    41822.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2014

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Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
About this office
Richter Dahl Rocha & Associés
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Cite: "Richter Dahl Rocha Develops Innovative Façade for SwissTech Convention Center" 03 Apr 2014. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/491135/richter-dahl-rocha-develop-innovative-facade-for-swisstech-convention-center/> ISSN 0719-8884