Olympic House – IOC Headquarters by 3XN Architects

The new headquarters of the International Olympic Committee will bring together 500 employees currently working in disparate offices throughout the city. The headquarter is designed around three key values/objectives: movement, flexibility and sustainability. With its dynamic, undulating façade, the building will appear different from all angles and convey the energy of an athlete in motion. Its interior is designed with as few structural constraints as possible. This open and flexible environment will adapt to multiple work styles now and in the future.

“In recognition of the symbolism of the Olympic Games and needs of the organization, we designed the new IOC Headquarters around three key elements: movement, flexibility and sustainability.”

Jan Ammundsen, Senior Partner and Head of Design at 3XN Architects

Architecture Shapes Behaviour

The IOC values are manifested throughout the Olympic House. Transprancy, Unity, Collaboration, Fair Play and Sustainability. The visual transparency of the building not only provides great views to the lake beyond, but acts as a metaphor for the IOC transparent and open organization. Allowing the IOC HQ’s inhabitants daily work to be visible is a reflection of the fair play and open values of the IOC. Its interior is designed with as few structural constraints as possible. This open and flexible environment will adapt to multiple work styles now and in the future. Furthermore the design is also intended to encourage interaction, communication and knowledge sharing among staff.

“With its dynamic, undulating façade, the building will appear different from all angles and convey the energy of an athlete in motion. Its interior is designed with as few structural constraints as possible. This open and flexible environment will adapt to multiple work styles now and in the future.”

Jan Ammundsen, Senior Partner and Head of Design at 3XN Architects

Context

3XN’s design respects both the château’s legacy and park setting and make as soft a transition as possible from park to building. As a recreational neighbourhood, the setting of the IOC Campus is uniquely situated to take full advantage of its beautiful location on the border of Lac Leman. The Louis-Bourget Park at Vidy is used by both staff of the IOC Headquarters and heavily used by members of the general public; cultivating a feeling of transparency and openness.

The consolidation of the functions of the current Olympic House and Pavillon into the new IOC Headquarters at the Eastern edge of the site provides for the same amount of green space on the campus, while more than doubling the current number of square meters. In addition, the careful placement of the Point of Interest Pavilion at the end of a wooded path, with beautiful views over the formal IOC garden, towards the Chateau and the new Headquarters, will be a strong gesture of friendship to all visiting tourists.

Commitment to Sustainability

As common in the 3XN’s values, the project is conceived with utmost consideration for site and sustainable principles. Minimising the environmental footprint, along with its sustainable features enables the new IOC HQ to represent the IOC commitment, while not compromising the quality of the working environment. Through the green roof, terraces and fitness center, the building and natural environment is rich with the opportunity for employees to participate in sport in order to energize themselves throughout the day. Sustainable features such as low flow taps, toilets, and rainwater capture significantly reduce the building’s use of water; while the solar panels located on the roof (and out of sight) reduce the need for electricity from the grid.

The Unity Staircase

Soaring the full height of the building and connecting all floors in a central atrium, the staircase is a visual expression of staff and stakeholder unity; and most certainly the Olympic Spirit, which promotes mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play. The staircase and its periphery will form the central area for social activity and promote a sense of community and transparency within the organization.

The new headquarters undoubtedly conveys the role of the IOC as leader of the Olympic movement and catalyst for collaboration through the Unity Staircase, referencing Baron Pierre de Coubertin’s Olympic Rings.

“The IOC Session was presented today with an architectural project that will allow the IOC to benefit from a modern, functional and sustainable working environment. At a time when we are speaking about the future of the Olympic Movement with Olympic Agenda 2020, Olympic Unity House is a bridge between the roots of the IOC in Lausanne and our vision for the future.”

Christophe De Kepper, Member of the Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee

Movement of An Olympic Athlete

A transparent double glass façade is the hallmark of our design for Olympic House. Comprising a straight inner layer and a curving, faceted outer layer, the result is a dynamic form that evokes the movement of an Olympic athlete. By optimizing the façade to floor plate ratio and creating a fully glazed façade from floor to ceiling, 3XN’s design brings daylight deep into the building. The inner layer features an integrated sunscreen, which enables the outer later to maintain its fully glazed and transparent appearance. As there is a highway close to the building’s north side, the double façade provides valuable noise reduction for the interiors. A cavity between the façade layers enables easy maintenance while allowing the dynamic and elegant skin.

Architect : 3XN Architect

Client : The International Olympic Committee

Location : Lausanne, Switzerland

Size : 22.000 m2

Collaborators : IttenBrechbühl, Ingeni, Emmer Pfenninger Partner, Hüsler & Associés Sàrl

Status : Completion 2019

Awards : ‘Office – Future Projects’ winner at World Architecture Festival 2018 in Amsterdam

Photographs : Adam Mork

Via > 3XN Architects