The New Sustainable Olympic House (IOC Headquarters) in Lausanne designed by 3XN Architects is a piece of art, perfectly situated to be a contemporary landmark on the shores of Lake Geneva.
New IOC headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland was a great chance for 3nx to manifest the values of such an internationally influential organization, the opportunity is cleverly appreciated, and they have been able to grasp key elements like movement, transparency, flexibility, sustainability, and collaboration not only in terms of the design but also the functionality, construction process and the integration with the context. Watch PA Talks 23 where we have interviewed 3XN’s founder Kim H. Nielsen.
Designers well presented the dynamic tributes that reflect the Olympics’ spirit on the exterior and the interior design. As the roof is meant to emulate a dove in motion from above. Also, the façade is carried out using the same concept by imitating the movement of an athlete, giving the exterior a distinct look at every point around the building and widening the views of users inside. With just 14 columns, 15 centimeters each, in diameter it freed the interior from structure obstacles, bringing more functionality and contributing to participation between employees. The dominant characteristic of the interior is the spiral staircase which is stacked inside the building, echoing the five famous interlocked Olympics rings.
The relationship between the IOC and both the old Château de Vidy building and The Louis-Bourget Park is Deep thought, and the structure is well integrated with the old castle providing an open green multifunctional space and a welcoming entrance from the castle which welcomes visitors every year and serves as a recreational area for employees. Also, the views from inside the building are oriented to take the leverage of the nearby lake and the public park by employing terraces and double glazed floor-to-ceiling windows around the building. Meanwhile, elevating greenery to the first floor generates a smooth transition to make the structure look smaller and harmonized with the context, establishing a welcoming landmark for the valuable context.
The environmental effect of the IOC Headquarters was the main point of concern throughout the process, this lead the Olympic house to be considered one of the most esteemed sustainable buildings locally and internationally. Innovation and adoption of passive sustainable solutions existing on the site were the keys to achieving three prestigious certifications. To give a few examples; Installing solar panels on the roof to generate 10% of the electricity used in the building and bringing water from the nearby lake to use in cooling and heating the building, Also the natural lighting is cleverly enhanced in the building through using of double-glazed windows and skylights above.
At the same time, few contemporary active techniques were employed, like an environmental temperature system that allows individuals to control their workspace lighting quality. On a larger scale, the IOC representatives were keen on reusing materials from the old building, this resulted in 95% of the previous structure materials being able to be dissembled and reused for education and community help. “To give a few examples, the old concrete was mixed into the foundation of the new building; the electrical appliances like circuit breakers were given to a nearby school to train young people; the sanitary equipment was given to a nonprofit that helps people go back to employment; the carpets were given to a local organization that does concerts,” explains Marie Sallois, director of corporate development, brand, and sustainability at the IOC.