The Ulysse building (Ulysses building)
The Ulysse building brings a strong personality to the Chauderon crossroads. It is the result of a competition won in 1987 by the architect Aurelio Galfetti (born 1936), who together with Mario Botta is one of the leading exponents of the “Ticino School”. It includes shops, offices and residential accommodation.
Eight storeys high and positioned on a platform, it is composed of a massive, hollowed-out cylinder which opens onto the square and is set in a prismatic volume which contributes to its integration in the grid pattern of the streets to the west and north. The facades are pierced at regular intervals by a grid of square windows. The facades are covered by clear grey panels, with cubes of dark grey granite set in them. These cubes stand out from the surface of the cylindrical volume.
The use of plastic effects linked to basic geometric volumes is typical of the Ticino School. Here it provokes a strong contrast with an environment built in the styles of the early 20th century and even with the 1970s administrative buildings whose soft lines occupy the opposite side of Place Chauderon. Thus the Ulysse Building constitutes a strong architectural sign which marks the geographical frontier of Lausanne's economic and commercial centre.
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