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Epfl: The Latest Architecture and News

New Technologies Might Save Venice’s Cultural Heritage from the Floods

Factum Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to the use of digital technology for cultural heritage conservation, in collaboration with the Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and Iconem have recorded the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore, in Venice, Italy, in its entirety. For more than 10 days, the team using photogrammetry and LiDAR technologies scanned the 10-hectare island. The project entitled ARCHiVe, linked with EPFL's Venice Time Machine aims to “efficiently and effectively aid in the preservation of Venice's fragile cultural heritage”.

Point cloud of the Longhena staircase, extracted from photogrammetry data. Image Courtesy of Factum FoundationTonal map image of the entire island of San Giorgio, generated from a 6.000 million point cloud. Height and depth are represented using colours ranging from red to blue. . Image Courtesy of Factum FoundationMap showing a few of the 600 scanning spots across the island of San Giorgio . Image Courtesy of Factum FoundationThe altar of the basilica of San Giorgio, recorded with a LiDAR scanner. © Otto Lowe. Image Courtesy of Factum Foundation+ 29

EPFL Students Build Wooden Pavilions Around Lake Geneva's Shores

150 first-year EPFL architecture students are creating architecture installations and gardens around the Buvette d'Evian near Lake Geneva in France. In response to a request from the French-speaking Switzerland chapter of the Swiss Architects’ Federation (FAS), EPFL agreed to study how to better protect architectural heritage even outside of Switzerland. Students tested their designs on the Swiss side of the lake before construction, and the new designs aim to bring La Buvette back to life.

Courtesy of EPFLCourtesy of EPFLCourtesy of EPFLCourtesy of EPFL+ 20

Temporary Porcelain Clad Pavilion Addresses The Notion of Ornamentation in Architecture

Courtesy of Alexander Wolhoff
Courtesy of Alexander Wolhoff

The Pavilion d’Eau, designed by EPFL architecture student Alexander Wolhoff, was constructed in Lake Geneva, Switzerland. The pavilion is a product of six months of research, prototyping, and coordination with different local and academic organizations done in conjunction with LHT3 labs. The exterior of the octagon pavilion has a structural aesthetic, while the interior -- only accessed by wading in the water -- is ornamental, clad in handmade ceramic tiles.

The UNESCO World Heritage Site municipality of Saint-Saphorin en Lavaux allowed for the temporary pavilion in the waters of Lake Geneva. The project is designed to touch the landscape lightly, not affecting the natural lake bed. The pavilion is comprised of materials including lake stones, wood, and porcelain tiles. To ensure a minimal and reversible impact on the site, the footings of the pavilion are made of seven gabions, metal cages filled with stones collected from the lake.

Courtesy of Alexander WolhoffCourtesy of Alexander WolhoffCourtesy of Alexander WolhoffCourtesy of Alexander Wolhoff+ 20

10 Typologies of Daylighting: From Expressive Dynamic Patterns to Diffuse Light

Sunlight has proven to be an excellent formgiver, with which architecture can create dynamic environments. The lighting design pioneer William M.C. Lam (1924-2012) emphasized in his book “Sunlighting as Formgiver” that the consideration of daylight is about much more than energy efficiency. Architects have now found numerous ways of implementing sunlight and the questions arises whether a coherent daylight typology could be a valuable target during the design process. However, many daylight analyses focus mainly on energy consumption.

Siobhan Rockcastle and Marilyne Andersen, though, have developed a thrilling qualitative approach at EPFL in Lausanne. Their interest was driven by the spatial and temporal diversity of daylight, introducing a matrix with 10 shades of daylight.

SwissTech Convention Center / Richter Dahl Rocha & Associés

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."