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Design unveiled for a sustainable wooden tower in Switzerland

Architecture firms 3XN and IttenBrechbühl have won an international competition with their design for the Tilia Tower©, an 85-meter-tall timber high-rise that will serve as a beacon for sustainability and an anchor for the up-and-coming district of Prilly-Malley. In addition to an ambitious wooden building, the pair of architecture firms will also oversee the energy-efficient renovation of two existing buildings for the real estate company Insula SA. The project will target Minergie-P, a Swiss certification for buildings with very low energy consumption.

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Proposed for the western suburbs of Lausanne, the project will inject new life into the rapidly developing district of Prilly-Malley with a mixed program that includes residences, retail, co-working spaces, restaurants, public spaces and a hotel. The tower will be built primarily of timber, a material chosen for its low carbon footprint, and open up to a new public square landscaped with biodiverse plants and microorganisms. To highlight the tower’s importance to the district as well as its diverse functions, the architects have created a rhythmic and sculptural facade made up of deep window niches and terraces that are also designed to optimize daylight and shading.

A winter landscape near a building with a connecting bridge with archways for people to walk through.

“We have worked with the philosophy of making a building that respects the human scale by emphasizing the connection to nature and by ensuring good daylight, which we know is important for human well-being,” said Jan Ammundsen, architect and responsible senior partner for the Tilia Tower©, at 3XN. “Wood is a consistent material in the project which adds a natural, warm, and robust look. Wood is a fantastic building material, and it will add a fine tactile expression to the building. The Tilia Tower will be a bright, friendly, humane, and sustainable building.”

A lobby with light gray walls, floors and ceiling. Wood accents make up the main desk and stariway.

Related: 3XN’s green-roofed offices to sport an elevated cycling path in Stockholm

The new high-rise will be connected to the pair of existing buildings — an office and a badminton hall — that will undergo an energy-efficient renovation and feature new facades to match the appearance of the Tilia Tower©. 

+ 3XN

Images via 3XN

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