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Thursday, 20 June 2019

3XN builds new headquarters for the Olympics on shore of Lake Geneva

Copenhagen studio 3XN has completed Olympic House, a new headquarters for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Lausanne, Switzerland.
3XN collaborated with Swiss architecture office IttenBrechbühl to create the building, which has been designed around the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) principles.
"We designed the building around five key objectives that translate the Olympic movement's core values into built form: movement, transparency, flexibility, sustainability, and collaboration," Kim Herforth Nielsen, co-founder of 3XN, told Dezeen.
Olympic House in Lausanne Switzerland by 3XN
Built within a public park on the shore of Lake Geneva, Olympic House stands next to 18th-century castle Château de Vidy. Created as offices for the organisation's 500 staff, many of the building's elements reference the Olympics.
"Every part of the building has a meaning," said Jan Ammundsen, head of design at 3XN.
"From the dynamic glass facade that mimics the high-powered athleticism of an Olympic athlete, to the central staircase that references the iconic Olympic rings and the spirit of international collaboration that they represent
Olympic House in Lausanne Switzerland by 3XN
The five-storey building is wrapped in a glass facade, which was created using parametric design – a digital process that allows you to test various design iterations.
Appearing differently from all angles, it is intended to represent the energy of an athlete. It also allows visitors to the park to see inside the building and observe the workings of the Olympic organisation.
Olympic House in Lausanne Switzerland by 3XN
"The visual transparency of the building is a metaphor for the new direction of the IOC as they strive towards a greater organisational transparency, reflected in the overall structural changes initiated by the Olympic Agenda 2020," explained Nielsen.
"The glass facade allows the daily work of the building’s inhabitants to be visible from the outside, and also celebrates its particular location by providing stunning views of the lake beyond."
The headquarters is arranged around a central atrium, with all five storeys connected by the Unity Staircase.
This oak staircase, which has been designed to references the five rings on the Olympic flag, is surrounded by a meeting rooms and exhibition spaces, with a cafeteria on the ground floor.
"The staircase is designed to be visual expression of unity and collaboration within the organisation and the Olympic Games," added Nielsen.
Olympic House in Lausanne Switzerland by 3XN
Around the central atrium the offices have been designed to follow the Olympic core values of collaboration, flexibility and movement.
"At 3XN we believe that architecture shapes behaviour – thus, we have designed the interior with as few structural constraints as possible, in order to facilitate interaction and communication among the staff," added Ammundsen.
"The offices can be easily moved though the open spaces, and workspaces can be modified to suite the ever-changing needs of the organisation."
Olympic House in Lausanne Switzerland by 3XN
The Olympic organisation wanted the the building to be an exemplar of sustainable construction, and the building has been certified as achieving LEED Platinum.
To achieve this, 3XN and IttenBrechbühl incorporated numerous energy- and water-saving measures into the office block.
Olympic House in Lausanne Switzerland by 3XN
The facade has a double skin, with the inner layer triple glazed, and the whole building is designed to be extremely airtight. Rainwater is captured to be used in the building and solar panels have been installed on the roof.
During the construction process more than 90 per cent of material from buildings that were previously on the site were reused or recycled.
Olympic House in Lausanne Switzerland by 3XN
Copenhagen-based 3XN was founded by Kim Herforth Nielsen, Lars Frank Nielsen and Hans Peter Svendler Nielsen in 1986.
Photography is by Adam Mørk / International Olympic Committee.

Crossboundaries designs "mini village" for kindergarten in rural China

Jiangsu Beisha Kindergarten by Crossboundaries

The Jiangsu Beisha Kindergarten in China has been conceived as a miniature village, with a cluster of house-like structures clustered around a square and connected via winding paths and raised walkways.
Beijing and Frankfurt-based practice Crossboundaries has designed the kindergarten, in the village of Beisha in China's Funing County, as part of a local government initiative to alleviate a shortage of preschool education in rural areas.
Jiangsu Beisha Kindergarten by Crossboundaries
The rural kindergarten is designed to function look like and function as a miniature village.
"Finding the appropriate scale for the project was a crucial starting point of this design," explained Crossboundaries.
"The Beisha Kindergarten functions as a smaller, modified version of a village with the scale giving children a sense of familiarity, introducing novelty and engaging curiosity."
Jiangsu Beisha Kindergarten by Crossboundaries
Designed as an alternative to the homogenous, repetitive nature of many school buildings in more urban areas, here classroom are placed within a mix of individual one and two-storey blocks or "houses".  Larger separate blocks contain for office, canteen and infirmary spaces.
"A typical school form, enclosed by prismatic volumes and a repetitive facade that blocks off the surrounding and limits the view with its protective, city logic would be a foreign object in this setting," said the architecture studio.
Jiangsu Beisha Kindergarten by Crossboundaries
A combination of local recycled brick and white plaster were used to give each of these blocks a subtly different appearance, animated by different roof pitches that animate the project's silhouette.
Large upper-level windows and small openings facing inwards towards the courtyard create a variety of visual connections between each block, and skylights help ensure ample natural light.
Jiangsu Beisha Kindergarten by Crossboundaries
At ground level the blocks are connected by glass corridors that enclose the central courtyard. Staircases lead up to a raised platform that surrounds the centre of the kindergarten, connecting to some blocks at first floor level and running alongside the roofs of others.
This vantage point gives views out over the surrounding plains and forests, as well as the green spaces nestled between the scheme's blocks below.
Jiangsu Beisha Kindergarten by Crossboundaries
"The second floor pathways are not just a connection between areas, they combine to form a platform of exploration for children," said the studio.
"Once you are up on the second floor your experience is overtaken by the dynamic slopes of the roofs - this little shift in perspective enables the children to expand their everyday spatial experience."
Jiangsu Beisha Kindergarten by Crossboundaries
Many Kindergarten projects attempt to break up a large, single structure into a collection of smaller units that activate external spaces.
Tracks Architectes recently designed a kindergarten in France as a row of gabled structures, and in Vietnam, Kientruc O's Chuon Chuon Kim Kintergarten took the form of a cluster of brick houses.
Photography is by Wu Qingshan, HaoHongyi, Mini Liu.