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House One – part 1

Building an 11 x 11 x 11 meters wooden proto-structure.

The situation 

During the spring semester of 2016 the ALICE laboratory, which is in charge of the architecture first year students teaching, opened a one week workshop to build a proto-structure. Located next to the Rolex Learning Center, by SANAA, on the EPFL campus in Lausanne. The goal was to build a structure that would host the future first
year students final projects, which consisted of 12 built rooms. The final House 1 project with the built rooms received the 2017 Swiss Design Award in the category «Research».

The proposal

The structure is the result of a systematic use of 5 meters long wooden sections in a balloon-frame method. It includes a central story of 2 meters high. As said before the objective is to produce a structure that the future projects can hinge on, and create new conditions inside of. Therefore, it needed to be as simple as possible, and to have the most possibilities available with many attachment points and unoccupied spaces for the upcoming projects and additional structures. This is why it is a “proto-structure”, a structure that comes before.

In collaboration with 2015 EPFL first year students led by ALICE EPFL.

Photo credits : Dylan Perrenoud, Aloys Mutzenberg