Students beautify the urban space below the Lausanne train station
Wooden structures built just south of the train station by students from EPFL’s School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering will be on display until September. Their task was to come up with ideas for beautifying this site, which is part of the Léman 2030 train station renovation.
A work-in-progress at the Lausanne train station has been catching the attention of curious onlookers. 23 architecture and civil and environmental engineering students had less than a week to hand-build temporary structures in the future Place des Saugettes. “Their challenge was to interact with residents and come up with projects that would improve the quality of this public space, which will be renovated following the work on the train station,” said Jade Rudler, the student leader and project coordinator.
The students’ structures aim to spruce up the future pedestrian space with benches, garden boxes and a symbolic train waiting area. “The City of Lausanne and the Swiss Federal Railways showed us the work planned under Léman 2030, and we developed four projects,” said Yasmin Sgroi, an architecture student. Her group built a public bench on a spot, currently used for motorcycle parking, that gives the public a bird’s eye view of the lake through the gap in the horizon left by the metro. Several meters away, in front of the Simplon café, the students set up a train station waiting area. “The platforms in the future train station won’t have any benches, so we decided to recreate some of them here for symbolic purposes,” said Ivan Maeder.
The public was very receptive to the students' ideas, and the city may even incorporate them into its plans. “Passersby and merchants on this street really liked what we did, and we hope that people will use our projects throughout the summer,” said Andrea Quibici, who was involved in building structures around four street gardens.
Every year, EPFL’s School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering organizes off-plan weeks during which students work on interdisciplinary projects. So far in 2016, student projects have addressed such issues as water, disaster housing and the place of pedestrians in urban areas.