Resembling a cut diamond, the new SwissTech Convention Center stands proudly at the north entrance to the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (CH). Featuring a shiny metal roof with an expansive overhang, it represents a new urban landmark on the university campus. However, the striking Convention Center designed by the Lausanne-based architecture firm Richter Dahl Rocha & Associés architectes not only features exemplary architecture, it is also a role model when it comes to sustainability – receiving high praise and plaudits such as “ultra-modern” and “a role model for Europe”.
The SwissTech Convention Center not only features an array of high-tech equipment under its 1,000-ton metal skin, but also a western facade that is equipped with 300 square meters of dye-sensitized solar cells. These colorful cells generate up to 2,000 kilowatts of renewable energy a year while acting as a shading screen and reducing the energy required for cooling. In addition to constituting structural foundation and support elements, five experimental thermic piles also function as heat exchangers and save the energy generated by the solar modules in order to compensate for seasonal fluctuations.
Ecological, economic and social aspects were taken into account throughout this flagship project for sustainable building right down to the smallest detail – from environmentally sustainable materials and exemplary energy efficiency right through to the quality of the interior and the optimal connection to existing infrastructures.