The Old Hospital
Designed by architect Rodolphe de Crousaz and constructed between 1766 and 1771, the Old Hospital is the most important 18th century building in Lausanne. With its three wings forming a horseshoe shape, a floor plan which is rare in Lausanne, it is located on the far edge of the city hill just where the slope breaks, thus enhancing the monumentality of its south façade. The façade is composed of five floors under a high roof: the first two are paired together in a grooved base punctuated by seven window frames; the following three floors all feature the same sober décor present throughout the rest of the building – huge pilasters that separate each of the thirteen bays.
A subtle change in style occurs on the courtyard side of the building. The bays are wider and thus fewer. The scale therefore acquires a more “human” dimension and creates a feeling of closeness, intimacy even. Similarly to the Church of Saint-Laurent, also the work of de Crousaz, the central bay is enhanced by ornamentation including a pilaster, a rounded pediment and a frieze featuring Neoclassical motifs.
Inside, the vestibule houses a stately, elegantly decorated staircase that stretches over three floors. Nowadays the building is used as a school.