Carnal Dome, Rolle, 2009-2013, by Bernard Tschumi Architects
Bernard Tschumi Architects | Carnal Dome
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? Bernard Tshumi Architects’ 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 Dome by Bernard Tschumi Architects
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. 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.
Carnal Dome render by Bernard Tschumi Architects
Dedicated to the interface between 21st-century culture and architecture, Bernard Tschumi Architects is an international architectural and urban design services firm with over $1 billion worth of projects for institutional, private, and civic clients. With offices in New York and Paris, the firm has been the recipient of numerous national and international honors, and has established a world reputation for its innovative design solutions to client concerns of different sizes and scales, from small facilities to large-scale master plans. Bernard Tschumi established the firm in Paris in 1983 with the commission for the Parc de la Villette and opened the head office, Bernard Tschumi Architects (BTA), in New York in 1988.