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Opéra de Lausanne Redevelopment

Lausanne, Switzerland


At the invitation of the Ville de Lausanne we participated in the design competition for the reconfiguration of the existing opera house's backstage and stage areas. Our approach to the project was primarily historical: an attempt to restore clarity to the 'out of town' nature of the original building's site, and to resolve some of the difficulties of its siting on a diagonally sloping terrain. We proposed cladding the new building in a shimmering veil of glass and copper tubes, to decompose its brute technical bulk and to create a link with the remnant of garden in which the building sits.


The glass, coupled with new water terraces on the roof, creates a link between the hilltop medieval centre and the lake below, the two extremes of the city's development. Inside the project is characterised by a rigourous functionality which goes beyond the brief in proposing a horizontal continuity between the new rehearsal space and the restored stage, allowing larger productions and the use of the rehearsal space as an independent public performance space giving onto a new urban cloistered garden. We also proposed the reconfiguration of the existing entry sequence to take into account the eccentricity of the site and open up new vistas through the building.

Client: Ville de Lausanne

Size: 3200 sq.m

Budget: 51M euros


Studio Andrew Todd, architects

in association with Haworth Tompkins architects

Adam Davis

Andrew Todd

Steve Tomkins

Graham Haworth

Theatre consultant: Charcoalblue / dUCKS

Acoustics: ATA

Engineering: ARUP

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