Olympic House is designed around five key objectives translating the Olympic Movement’s values into built form: movement, transparency, flexibility, sustainability, and collaboration. It brings together 500 employees that were spread across Lausanne in four different locations under one roof at a single site. The transparency and flow of the design facilitate and encourage interaction, communication and knowledge sharing among the staff. Enhanced circulation serves as a catalyst for collaboration and solidarity among the workforce.
The interior is designed with as few structural constraints as possible: 4 service cores and 14 pillars support the structure of the building. The systematic arrangement of the technical and electrical elements enabled an agile working environment, dedicated to a highly mobile workforce that adapts to strategic and organizational changes. The layout of the workstations ensures that 90% of the spaces regularly occupied offer quality views to the outside.
Following the principles of active design, the central oak staircase and its periphery define the central area for social activity and movement. The staircase is a visual expression of the unity and collaboration between the staff and stakeholders and refers to the Olympic rings.
The building’s envelope allows excellent insulation through airtightness and the triple gazing on the internal skin facade. The inner layer of the façade provides thermal insulation while the outer layer enhances the design, protects the building through an integrated sunscreen system and reduces noise from the nearby highway. The envelope of the building is designed specifically to push and flow inward and outward, gaining additional façade surface area for day lighting and views.
The building respectfully integrates into the surrounding historical park setting. The new design triples the floor space compared to the former building.
One of the world’s most sustainable new building receiving LEED Platinum obtaining the highest score ever given (93 of 100), Swiss Sustainable Construction Standard Platinum and Minergie P. Mainly supplied with renewable energy, while smart building features, heat recovery systems and its envelope ensure a high energy efficiency. Water efficient sanitary equipment and rainwater capture significantly reduce water consumption. Solar panels contribute to electricity supply. Lake water is used for heating and cooling. All materials were chosen to limit pollutant emissions and ensuring the best indoor air quality. Over 95 percent of the former administrative building’s materials were reused or recycled.
The dynamic, undulating flow of the façade appears differently from all angles, conveying the energy of an athlete in motion. The form of the building directly affects its performance. This floor-to-ceiling, fully glazed façade brings daylight deep into the building, while optimizing thermal insulation with a double-skin system. Each glass panel, each load bearing column, is unique in its shape and in its relations to neighbouring elements. So, changes to one element would have consequences for the whole.
To manage the complexity during design and construction, the architects created a minimal data model of the building. The data driven modelling environment enabled versatile control of design development on the complex façade. While formally and structurally of high complexity, with around 32.000 production drawings, the data driven modelling environment enabled simplicity in managing collaborative project development and a new way of thinking about form and structure into the architectural production chain.
Developed in close consultation with the local authorities, Olympic House offer the region an emblematic architectural landmark and become an important element of the local Parc Louis Bourget, where it is located. The distinctive and highly complex design of Olympic House incorporates sustainability, symbolism, healthy work environment, respectful integration into a historical park setting, flexibility and high performance without compromising the design of the building or the comfort of the daily users.
Olympic house was realized by means of a ‘design-bid-build’-tender model involving a large number of highly skilled and specialized contractors from both the local region and from across Europe. Close coordination on site in combination with extensive use of 3D modelling and parametric design ensured a very high level of quality and coherence with the original design intent. The building was delivered on time and within budget and embodies the fusion of modern design tools and traditional craftmanship.
Olympic House is a unique and groundbreaking building both in terms of circularity, sustainability, user wellbeing, design and use of technology. The high ambitions of the client to create a new world class HQ that leads by example has pushed the boundaries for construction, architecture and interior design in the creation of the building. The distinctive and highly complex design incorporates sustainability, symbolism, healthy work environment, respectful integration into a historical park setting, flexibility and high performance without compromising the design of the building or the comfort of the daily users.
The International Olympic Committee
3XN in collaboration with Itten+Brechbühl
Ingeni, Emmer Pfenninger Partner, Hüsler & Associés Sàrl, Ferner & Reifer, RBS Group, Thema Verde
Award-winning Danish architectural firm 3XN offers more than three decades of experience in designing and building innovative and human-focused architecture. Founded in 1986, the firm quickly became known for creating buildings of substance with compelling aesthetics supported by a strong theoretical foundation. The firm advances Scandinavian traditions of clarity and generosity in architecture and translates them for a global audience. 3XN projects are grounded in ongoing research into how buildings reflect and influence human behavior and the environment. This results in innovative solutions to increasingly complex contemporary challenges. GXN is the innovation unit of 3XN specializing in circular design, behavior design and digital design. The mission is to collect and apply the latest knowledge on materials, sustainability, behavior, and new technologies to the studio’s architecture. www.3xn.com