The Post-war boom
Aula des Cèdres
The Aula des Cèdres is the work of the internationally renowned architect Jean Tschumi. His career was focused around the Lake Geneva region, mainly in the 1950s. His body of work includes prestigious projects, such as the World Health Organization’s building in Geneva and the headquarters of several major companies, including Vaudoise Assurances, which is located in the same park as the Aula des Cèdres in Lausanne; the famous triangular building belonging to the now-defunct André Group, on Chemin de Messidor in Lausanne; and of course the Nestlé headquarters in Vevey, a major accomplishment which earned international recognition.
The Aula des Cèdres was built in 1961 and 1962 and served as a lecture hall for the Ecole Polytechnique et Universitaire de Lausanne. Jean Tschumi, the head of architecture at the school, developed this auditorium with François Panchaud, who taught students about reinforced concrete.
This collaboration between an architect and an engineer, representative of the time, was behind the immense concrete veil that is so characteristic of the building. Rectangular in shape, the veil is lifted on both ends to accommodate the high windows that introduce a strong dialogue with the nature in the area while letting in a great deal of light. The auditorium itself is an oval-shaped structure located in the middle of the building.
Jean Tschumi, who died in early 1962 at the age of 57, never saw the completed hall. Today, it is used by the Haute Ecole Pédagogique of the Canton of Vaud, which rents it out. The son of Jean Tschumi, Bernard Tschumi, enjoys an international career as an architect.