The first prize of the architectural competition "A museum, two museums" goes to Portuguese architects Manuel and Francisco Aires Mateus. The proposed building will contribute to create the new Pôle Museal of Lausanne in 2020, together with MCBA (the new Museum of Fine Arts, that is in course to be built).
The Pôle Museal, raised from an abandoned area along the railway, is currently defined by a large long square facing the MCBA. The aim of the competition was not only to conceive a building with two museums but, first of all, to guarantee an urban solution to enclose this big public square and to ensure it's connection to the upper part of the city.
The project consists in condensing into a single volume the two main exhibition areas (MUDAC and L’Elysée), by two concrete volumes one above the other. Between the two volumes, there is an intermediate zone that concentrates all public shared service.
The idea of the project is not the drawing of the two museums, but the drawing of the space of tension between them and the idea that the importance of the container isn't more than the importance of protecting what it contains.
Around this main volume, but never touching it, the irregular site's shape is filled with a background building, that includes all the remaining services, covered by a roof garden, from which two public staircases flow, connecting the upper part of the city to the museums open square.
Photo credits: Aires Mateus