Centre for fire and rescue services of the city of Lausanne in Montheron

Commune of Bernex, Geneva
May 18, 1979
The EPFL Architecture Department project, Écublens – Lausanne
April 10, 1978
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Commune of Lausanne

(in collaboration with D. Démétriadès et P. Chiché)



The centre for fire and rescue services of the city of Lausanne in Montheron comprises teaching classes, indoor and outdoor exercising areas, administrative spaces, a restaurant and underground shelter.

The distance of the buildings from the edge of the forest offers the best exposure to the sun and defines the exercise zone along the forest.

The layout of the buildings creates an area protected from the northern wind, which is particularly violent on the site.

Solar power harnessing for heating and hot water was adopted.

The complex is organized following a 45° conceptual framework. In this system, classrooms are paired. The front of each class is south facing. This disposition enables a wide variety of uses for the spaces.

Large glass verandas/glasshouses are associated to each pair of classrooms. The partitions, at the back of the glasshouse, have high thermal inertia. Sunlight is immediately used to heat the classrooms. This is achieved by air circulating inside the hollows of the partitions charged by glasshouse effect energy.

Daylighting is used to light the common parts and passageways inside the complex.

30 to 40% of energy needs for heating the building are met by the building's concept of passive solar harnessing and the remaining 60% of hot water needs by solar sensors.

The system is regulated to function mid-season and winter for heating and summer for cooling.

Materials used: bearing walls in reinforced concrete, high peripheral ventilated thermal insulation, adjustable exterior solar protection.