Architectural competition for students

Sustainable is Beautiful © EPFL / LAST

Sustainable is Beautiful © EPFL / LAST

After three successful experiences, the Laboratory of Architecture and Sustainable Technologies (LAST) organizes a new edition of the competition for students in architecture entitled "Sustainable is beautiful”.

While the previous edition – whose results were released last September 25th– was dedicated to the design of a sport pavilion for smart training, this new edition aims at designing one ore more residential building(s) on a real site located on the municipal territory of the City of Ecublens. Entitled ACTIVE HOUSING, the competition is organized with support from the Swiss National Science Foundation (National Research Programme 70), the Swiss Federal Office of Energy, Swissolar and the City of Ecublens.

The project’s volumes will seek a consistent, harmonious integration with the site’s features and its surrounding constructions. It will also aim at offering qualitative housings in respect of typology and appropriation by users. It will best take into account high requirements in terms of energy efficiency, photovoltaic production and architectural expression.

The proposition will specifically integrate the “Advanced Active Façades” (AAF) concept, developed in the framework of the PV 2050 research project, part of the National Research Programme "Energy Turnaround" (NRP 70) of the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF). This novel construction system for low-carbon, active façades was designed by the LAST in collaboration with CSEM’s PV Center and H.Glass. The approach which led to the development of the AAF system is based on an interdisciplinary conception of façades of the future and on the consideration of multiple objectives, in particular the maximisation of the potential for architectural integration, the prefabrication of elements, a low environmental impact and an increased efficiency in photovoltaic technology. 

This system is conceived as a self-supporting, prefabricated wooden skeleton, on which are mounted an interior coating, a thermal insulation and active panels on the outside.

Chaired by Prof. Emmanuel Rey, the jury consists of representatives of EPFL, SIA and the City of Ecublens, as well as sustainability and photovoltaics experts and architects of professional practice. The jury will have a total amount of CHF 10'000.- to be given to the awarded projects and to any mentions, of which a City of Ecublens Special Prize of CHF 1’000.- and CHF 9’000.- financed by SNSF.

This competition is conceived as the last step of a research process on active façades with photovoltaic technology. This ultimate phase aims at assessing the architectural potential of the AAF system as well as its application towards architectural design processes.

Detailed information on:

Contact person : Angela Clua Longas, PhD student at LAST ([email protected])

High resolution photographs of the AAF demonstrator can be downloaded here