Carnal Dome by Tschumi

Carnal DomeImage courtesy of Tschumi

Carnal Dome by Tschumi

The campus architecture of Le Rosey, an international boarding school in Rolle, Switzerland, consists of a dozen buildings with a stately character. Within this context, the competition for a new philharmonic hall and arts center for the well-known school raised the question: how can architecture establish a complimentary relationship between the old and the new – a dialogue between tradition and modernity?

Carnal DomeImage courtesy of Rosey summer camps

Our strategy proposed a low, flat dome – a metal envelope that emerges from the landscape, shining in the sun by day and reflecting ambient campus light by night. This dome provides a common denominator for the various parts of the program. A place of meeting and interaction, it is situated at the base of the keystone-shaped area formed by the existing buildings.

Carnal DomeImage courtesy of Tschumi

From the air the dome appears as a distinctive object, but at ground level its gentle curvature fits into the landscape. In plan, its shape recalls a rose or rosette – a fitting allusion for Le Rosey. The reflective metal combines with the lush trees of the campus landscape to marry existing nature to the new facade, further complimenting the existing campus architecture.

Carnal DomeImage courtesy of Tschumi

The dome’s interior reads as a large space with a simple support system that allows for easy distribution of all programs. Natural light penetrates laterally to all areas that require an outside view. Wherever allowed by the program, the bulkheads are made out of transparent, translucent, or opaque glass in order to facilitate vision and transparency of the center’s activities. Rooms that rest on the ground, including the conference rooms and performance areas, are made out of wood. Hence, the concept is realized through three main materials  – metal, glass, and wood.

more. www.tschumi.com

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