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ALICE installs a fully-fledged timber framework "House 1" at EPFL campus in Lausanne

Switzerland Architecture News - Jul 19, 2016 - 13:00   8455 views

ALICE installs a fully-fledged timber framework

House 1 is an architectural installation based on an experimental format for collaborative design and construction by Atelier de la Conception de l’Espace (ALICE– an international group of young architects and researchers, scientists, and doctoral candidates from the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), led by the Director Dieter Dietz.

Built initially as proto-structure (primary construction) during a 5-day workshop in April, House 1 is a 11m x 11m x 11m balloon-frame timber construct holding the ‘genetic code’ for future developments. The project involved over 200 students, who worked in groups under the close guidance of 12 studio directors and the wood engineer Rémy Meylan. 


ALICE installs a fully-fledged timber framework

Image © ALICE EPFL

In succession, each team was asked to design and realize a room (a space intended for habitation), or a transitional space providing connectivity (porch, stairs, doorway). 

ALICE installs a fully-fledged timber framework

Image © Dylan Perrenoud / ALICE EPFL

The boundaries that divide studio projects are blurry zones of negotiation over space, culture, and ideas. Accordingly, each project is strongly influenced by the others as it enters a multilayered discourse with its surroundings. The spatial experience of House 1 is therefore not that of a homogenous architecture; rather, it is an unfolding evolution of a space that invokes questions, contains possibilities, and is open for interpretation. 

ALICE installs a fully-fledged timber framework

Image © Dylan Perrenoud / ALICE EPFL

Alexa den Hartog, one of the 12 studio directors responsible for making House 1 a feasible project, characterizes the proto-structure and its process of inhabitation as a “restricted physical and temporal - ever changing - landscape that only slowly solidified”. To quote Dieter Dietz, House 1 reveals its final form “not as something that is done from the top down but something we share.” 

ALICE installs a fully-fledged timber framework

Image © Dylan Perrenoud / ALICE EPFL

After four months of frenetic work and strong engagement, the project has been recently completed and is now open to visitors on the EPFL campus next to the Rolex Learning Center. 

ALICE installs a fully-fledged timber framework

Image © Dylan Perrenoud / ALICE EPFL

ALICE installs a fully-fledged timber framework

Image © Dylan Perrenoud / ALICE EPFL

ALICE installs a fully-fledged timber framework

Image © Dylan Perrenoud / ALICE EPFL

ALICE installs a fully-fledged timber framework

Image © Aloys Mutzenberg / ALICE EPFL

ALICE installs a fully-fledged timber framework

Image © Alessandra Ortelli / ALICE EPFL

ALICE installs a fully-fledged timber framework

Image © Aloys Mutzenberg / ALICE EPFL

ALICE installs a fully-fledged timber framework

Image © ALICE EPFL

ALICE installs a fully-fledged timber framework

Image © Dylan Perrenoud / ALICE EPFL

ALICE installs a fully-fledged timber framework

Image © Dylan Perrenoud / ALICE EPFL

ALICE installs a fully-fledged timber framework

Image © ALICE EPFL

ALICE installs a fully-fledged timber framework

Image © Dylan Perrenoud / ALICE EPFL

ALICE installs a fully-fledged timber framework

Image © Dylan Perrenoud / ALICE EPFL

ALICE installs a fully-fledged timber framework

Image © ALICE EPFL

ALICE installs a fully-fledged timber framework

Image © ALICE EPFL

ALICE installs a fully-fledged timber framework

Image © ALICE EPFL

Project Facts

Architect / designer / artist: École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne ALICE Studio (Atelier de la Conception de l’Espace) 

Team: ALICE Studio - 1st year students (2016), Dieter Dietz, Daniel Zamarbide, Raffael Baur, Edouard Cabay, Laurent Chassot, Nicolas Durr, Margherita Del Grosso, Alexa den Hartog Stéphane Grandgirard, Patricia Guaita, Agathe Mignon, Andrea Pellacani, Laura Perez Lupi, Anne-Chantal Rufer, Wynd van der Woude with Thibaud Smith 

Lead engineer timber construction: Rémy Meylan, architect & wood engineer Whood x Mug 

Materials: wood, metal, concrete 

Tools: screwdriver, japanese saw, drill, rope 

Quantities: dimensions: 11 x 11 x 11 meters weight: 5 tons planning: 3 months preparations, 1 month construction 15’000 linear meter of wood 20’000 screws 150 concrete tiles

Project location / city / country: Campus EPF, Lausanne, Switzerland

Year: 2016

Video: Reflexion by Studio Cabay students 

Top image © Dylan Perrenoud / ALICE EPFL

> via alice.epfl.ch