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3XN and IttenBrechbühl Win International Competition to Design Wooden Tower in Lausanne, Switzerland

3XN and IttenBrechbühl Win International Competition to Design Wooden Tower in Lausanne, Switzerland

3XN and IttenBrechbühl have been selected to design Tilia Tower, an 85-meter-tall mixed-use wooden building that includes apartments, retail, and a hotel. Located in Lausanne, Switzerland, the project also encompasses the transformation and renovation of two existing buildings, as well as the implementation of new public spaces, bringing vitality to the neighborhood.

Courtesy of 3XNCourtesy of 3XNCourtesy of 3XNCourtesy of 3XN+ 5

Designed by Danish architectural firm 3XN and Switzerland’s largest general planners IttenBrechbühl, for the real estate company Insula SA part of Realstone Group, Tilia Tower is situated in the rapidly developing district of Prilly-Malley in the western suburbs of Lausanne.

Courtesy of 3XN
Courtesy of 3XN

A key player in the development of the area, the proposed scheme introduces a mixed program consisting of apartments, a hotel, co-working, and co-making. In addition, the project puts in place various public functions such as bars, shops, restaurants, and cafés; to “help activate the area and contribute to a richer local environment”.


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Connected to the new high-rise is an older but well-functioning office building and badminton hall. The two existing buildings on site will have their façade updated to match the new building.

Courtesy of 3XN
Courtesy of 3XN

We have worked with the philosophy of making a building that respects the human scale by emphasizing the connection to nature and by ensuring good daylight, which we know is important for human well-being. Wood is a consistent material in the project which adds a natural, warm, and robust look. Wood is a fantastic building material, and it will add a fine tactile expression to the building. The Tilia Tower will be a bright, friendly, humane, and sustainable building. -- Jan Ammundsen, architect and responsible senior partner for the Tilia Tower, at 3XN.

Courtesy of 3XN
Courtesy of 3XN

The diverse design of Tilia Towergenerates a “complex building with an open and strong identity and an organic expression that breaks with the classic homogeneous box”. The composition of individual apartments creates a series of shifting elements and a rhythmic façade. Moreover, the designers imagined deep window niches and terraces connecting to the outdoors. In fact, this depth seeks to optimize energy efficiency through shading and daylight optimization.

The choice of wood also contributes to a significant reduction in the CO2 footprint. Finally, a new square established in front of the building will create a green urban space with biodiverse plants and microorganisms. Aiming for a Minergie-P certification, the two existing buildings on site will also undergo a transformation that consists of an energy-efficient renovation.

Courtesy of 3XN
Courtesy of 3XN

Tilia Tower

  • Location: Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Team: 3XN and IttenBrechbühl
  • Developer: Insula SA / Realstone Group
  • Size: 37,000 m2

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Cite: Christele Harrouk. "3XN and IttenBrechbühl Win International Competition to Design Wooden Tower in Lausanne, Switzerland" 22 Jan 2021. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/954937/3xn-and-ittenbrechbuhl-win-international-competition-to-design-wooden-tower-in-lausanne-switzerland> ISSN 0719-8884
Courtesy of 3XN

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