Glass Facade with the Sound of Water

Foto: Corinne Cuendet / Chiché Architectes

The EPCL vocational school in Lausanne, which was built in the early 1970s, has been given a new glass facade as part of an energy renovation project. So-called Piezo metal discs are ­integrated into the facade, and these, like the membranes of a loudspeaker, make the building sound like running water. The idea is the result of a cooperation between the architects Chiché and the artist Rudy Decelière, who wanted the building to serve as a reminder of the underground canalised river Flon in ­
the same district.

The round Piezos are sandwiched between two layers of Swisslamex Colordesign laminated safety glass from Glas Trösch and are wired in such ­a way that they can be controlled via amplifiers with the sound composed by Decelière. The ­approx. 13,000 parts have different sizes and together appear as a stylised wave that extends over the entire surface of the facade. Between the glass panes, additionally-inserted colour foils ­with a black tint emphasize the golden shimmer of the Piezos ­in the sunlight. The colour-stable glass ensures privacy on the ­inside while at the same time ­allowing daylight to enter.


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