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mudac Photo Élysée Building

Architecture, Design and Photography

Aires Mateus

mudac Photo Élysée Building
By Philip Jodidio -

Lausanne, a city of about 140,000 people located on the northern shore of Lake Geneva has recently engaged in the construction of new facilities for three existing museums on a 25,000-sq. m site formerly occupied by the Swiss Federal Railways (CFF), next to the Lausanne station. The first of these, which opened to the public in October 2019 was the Musée Cantonal des Beaux-Arts (Cantonal Museum of Fine Arts) designed by the Barcelona-based team Barozzi Veiga. The second part of the complex, which includes a large public square, is the mudac Élysée Photo building, designed by the Lisbon architects Aires Mateus, working with the noted Portuguese engineer Rui Furtado. The architectural competition for the museums was officially launched on January 9, 2015, and 149 applications were submitted. Kengo Kuma was vice-chair of the jury which selected 21 candidates from 9 different countries, including Jean Nouvel, Dominique Perrault, SANAA, Shigeru Ban and Steven Holl. Several Swiss teams – Christ & Gantenbein, Peter Märkli and Valerio Olgiati – are also part of the group selected for the second phase. On October 5, 2015, the jury announced that it had chosen the “One Museum, Two Museums” project by Aires Mateus. While the master plan for the site had envisioned a total of three buildings, the Portuguese architects brought the two institutions together in a single structure. On February 8, 2017, the Vaud State Council voted a budget of 51.8 million Swiss francs for the construction. Work on the new building began on June 1, 2018. In February 2019, it was announced that the three museums would form a single entity called “Plateforme 10”.

Manuel Rocha de Aires Mateus was born in Lisbon, in 1963. He graduated from the Faculty of Architecture of the Technical University of Lisbon. He worked with Gonçalo Byrne beginning in 1983, then with his brother Francisco Xavier Rocha de Aires Mateus after...

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