architect: Aires Mateus

location: Losanna

One Museum, two museums, one space.
Two solid volumes confine one space.
One empty space that dilates and compresses.
One space always in contact with the exterior.
One space of arrival, of passage, of break,
A covered place that gives access to both museums.

The first prize of the architectural competition "A museum, two museums" goes to Portuguese architects Manuel and Francisco Aires Mateus. The proposed building will contribute to create the new Pôle Museal of Lausanne in 2020, together with MCBA (the new Museum of Fine Arts, that is in course to be built).
Chaired by Olivier Steimer, president of the Pôle Museal Foundation, the Vice president architect Kengo Kuma, the jury was convinced by the coherent, linear, bright, architecture, that gently fits into the future cultural district. The Pôle Museal, raised from an abandoned area along the railway, is currently defined by a large long square facing the MCBA. The aim of the competition was not only to conceive a building with two museums but, first of all, to guarantee an urban solution to enclose this big public square and to ensure it's connection to the upper part of the city. The project consists in condensing into a single volume the two main exhibition areas (MUDAC and L’Elysée), by two concrete volumes one above the other. Between the two volumes, there is an intermediate zone that concentrates all public shared service. The idea of the project is not the drawing of the two museums, but the drawing of the space of tension between them and the idea that the importance of the container isn't more than the importance of protecting what it contains. Around this main volume, but never touching it, the irregular site's shape is filled with a background building, that includes all the remaining services, covered by a roof garden, from which two public staircases flow, connecting the upper part of the city to the museums open square.

date of construction (prevision): 2017-2020
deployement area: 5960 sqm
built area: 14.500 sqm
construction cost: 85.000.000 €

final teams
Aires Mateus – Portugal
Anette Gigon / Mike Guyer – Switzerland
Jean Nouvel – France
Caruso St John – England
Christian Kerez – Switzerland
Christ & Gantebein – Switzerland
Cruz y Ortiz – Spain
Dominique Perrault – France
Emílio Tuñon – Spain
Graber Pulver – Switzerland
Local Architecture + Camilo Rebelo – Switzerland/Portugal
Lacaton & Vassal – France
Nieto Sobejano – Spain
Peter Markli – Switzerland
RCR Aranda Pigem Vialta – Spain
SANAA – Japan
Sauerbruch Hutton – Germany
Shigeru Ban – Japan
Steven Holl – USA
Valerio Olgiati – Switzerland
Wiel Arets – Netherlands