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Lucerne School of Art and Design

On the industrial site of the company once known as Viscosuisse, today Monosuisse AG, a new urban district to be known as the Viscosistadt is being created in Emmenbrücke. While preserving the diversity of the existing buildings, the overall plan strengthens the site’s existing high urban quality and develops the essence of place further. The first measure undertaken was the conversion of Building 745 to serve as the new location for the Lucerne School of Art and Design. With its powerful expressiveness Building 745 is part of the Viscosuisse industrial legacy and shapes the character of the site. The wide-spanning structure, which consists of columns, downstand beams and prefabricated ribbed concrete slabs, produces generous, open spaces. To preserve the qualities of these fine examples of Swiss engineering architecture and to enable them to be used, our intervention is as direct and restrained as possible. The main entrance to the university is from the east across Nylsuisseplatz. The high-bay warehouse in the west side was stripped back in order to open the facade and to create a connection to the new riverside park. The open ground floor strengthens the university building’s connection to the park. As a place where the general public meets the university it plays a central role in the future development and in introducing life to the entire site. A bar provides reason to linger. Also located here are the ‘Aktionshalle’, a project space for exhibitions and events, and the library. Together with the various functions a diversely programmed public zone is created. The rooms for the video and animation courses, which require some soundproofing, are located in the basement. The core of the first floor is the Media Lab which is open to all. The rooms for the courses ‘Camera Arts’, ‘Art and Education‘, ‘Fine Arts’‚ and ‘Design and Film’ are located here and on the second and third floors. The rooms for the management, administration and research are on the fourth floor.

Photographs: © Filip Dujardin, Gent · © Roland Bernath · © Daniela Burkart, Lucerne
Model photographs: © Hannes Henz, Zurich
Film: © Jens Franke, Marius Helten, Berlin

Index: 195 HSL
Dates: Study commission ‘Monosuisse Site’ 2012 · Planning phase 2013–2016 · Construction phase 2014–2016

Team EM2N
Partners: Mathias Müller, Daniel Niggli · Associates: Bernd Druffel (execution), Fabian Hörmann (competition), Marc Holle (execution) · Project leaders: Christoph Abächerli, Claudia Soppelsa-Peter · Project team: Dorothee Burkert, Niklas Erlewein, Margarida Fonseca, Giulia Giardini, Olivia Kossak, Ana Olalquiaga Cubillo, Gabriela Popa, Tomoko Suzuki
Model making: Jonathan Konrad, Jonas Rindlisbacher

Specialist planners
Landscape architecture: Studio Vulkan Landschaftsarchitektur AG, Zurich · Construction management: Architektur & Baumanagement AG, Lucerne · Cost management: TGS Bauökonomen AG, Lucerne · Civil engineer: Schnetzer Puskas Ingenieure AG, Zurich · Planning heating / ventilation / air-conditioning / cooling technology and sanitary services: Josef Ottiger + Partner AG, Emmenbrücke · Building physics / acoustics: RSP Bauphysik AG, Lucerne · Electrical services planning: Jules Häfliger AG, Lucerne · Geomatic engineering: Emch+Berger WSB AG, Emmenbrücke · Signage: Velvet Creative Office GmbH, Lucerne

Emmenbrücke, Switzerland

Direct commission, Study commission ‘Monosuisse Site’ 2012, 1st prize

Viscosistadt AG



Art studios, Auditorium, Canteen, Café, Exhibition spaces, Film studios, Library, Meeting rooms, Offices, Sound studios, Teaching spaces, Workshop spaces

13,000 m²

CHF 24 m.