Rue St. Martin

Lausanne, Switzerland.

The building integrates itself in the existing city fabric by a series of volumetric operations that take into account the historic character of its surroundings, specially considering the proximity of the Cathedral. Firstly, the proposal completes the continuous fa├žade line that frames St. Martin Street, establishing a dialogue with its neighbouring buildings by means of order, rhythm and material use. At the same time, the building utilizes the height limitation and setback requirements to give continuity to the built environment. To the other side, the volume shows a scheme broken in two parts set on top of a common socle. This two-sided layout projects a unitary intervention towards St. Martin Street, while it gives continuity to the fragmented view of the historic city centre and the Cathedral from the Promenade de la Solitude. The proposal also establishes a direct relationship to the traditional residential typologies present in Lausanne.

The building maximises the connection between St. Martin Street and Cesar-Roux Street with the aim of integrating the public life into the new program for the site. It shows a permeable character that promotes physical and visual connections between the two axes, as well as between the existing park and the consolidated city. It proposes a set of public spaces to stay and gather, as well as structuring an agile flow between them, framing the views of the Cathedral and integrating the new volumes into the urban landscape. The park is drawn onto the base of the building in order to create a new generous public space. The promenade ends up in a covered plaza facing St. Martin Street. This is the meeting point for all public programs, as well as the entrance to the new building.

Besides densifying a currently neglected site, the project aims to promote social diversity by facilitating public spaces of different qualities. St. Martin Street becomes a destination within the historic centre of Lausanne.