2018-2022: The City of Lausanne and the Canton of Vaud will see three of their flagship cultural institutions brought together on a single site. The Cantonal Museum of Fine Arts, the Museum of Design and Contemporary Applied Arts (mudac) and the Musée de l’Elysée will be housed just a few yards from the station in the former CFF locomotive hangars. The Plateforme10 project, of a scope unprecedented in Switzerland and sponsored by the Canton of Vaud, City of Lausanne and the CFF, aims to put Lausanne on the map as an innovative city of culture.
Since it was established in 1985, the Musée de l'Elysée has been exploring and sharing photography with its innovative exhibitions, key publications and engaging events open to a wide public. In thirty years, the Musée de l'Elysée’s pioneering perspective has meant it has gradually been able to take its place among the most important museums devoted to photography.
On October 5, 2015, we are pleased to announce that Aires Mateus architects has been selected to design the Musée de l'Elysée of the future. We are delighted to share our view of photography with you in this new setting!
With its powerful and direct architectural approach, the project “One museum, two museums” fits the bill perfectly. In a single space it synthesizes the duality and complementarity of the two museums, located on either side of the bright dividing line which marks their shared entrance.
This horizontal opening cuts across one end of the esplanade to create a spectacular focal point for visitors and travellers. The building’s iconic quality is more than just a visual attraction; the need to prioritise the functionality and quality of the space is clearly evident. The reception area for visitors will be directly accessible from the public square, the precise location of which between the Museum of Fine Arts and this new building can now be finalised. A forum in the true sense of the word, open on all four sides, the entrance hall will include all shared services: ticketing, bookstore, shop, library, multi-purpose room and cafeteria.
Landscaping of the terrain and roof will give this space a unique and warm connotation. A staircase leading to mudac and another to the Musée de l’Elysée will clearly signal the choice offered to visitors. The two exhibition areas will double the space currently available to each museum on their historic site. Equal in size for both institutions, they will provide generous and flexible modular spaces, allowing the seamless presentation of collections and the staging of temporary exhibitions. Storerooms and technical services on the lower floor will allow collections to be conserved under optimal conditions, while areas occupied by staff will lie to the north and west of the central building, which will be given over in its entirety to the public.
The dawning of a new era that will delight art lovers and all those eager to make new and exciting discoveries!
One museum, two museums, three spaces. Two volumes contain an empty space that expands and contracts. A space always in contact with the exterior, where people can enter, pass through or wait. The covered area providing access to both museums.
Two geometrically honed bodies of concrete that meet, brush against one another and open. Lit from above or below, their light is subtle and selective. Between them, a floating space. The Elysée its base, mudac its vault.
Two museums and one prismatic space, with different services at its periphery. Blending with the contours of the terrain around the museum, the latter free up the space they need for their light, bringing a crystalline unity to the whole. “One museum, two museums” is the starting point. The idea that each entity is characterised by its own light and space. The idea that the value of the container as an object serves only to preserve that of its contents.
Aires Mateus, architectes
Bringing together in a single location the Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts (Cantonal Museum of Fine Art) mcb-a, the Musée de l’Elysée (Cantonal Museum of Photography), the mudac (Museum of Design and Contemporary Applied Arts, and the Toms Pauli and Félix Vallotton Foundations, will create a unique space entirely devoted to culture on the site of the former locomotive sheds in Lausanne.