Conversion of A Workers’ Villa |  Lausanne, Switzerland | 2021
[Samir Alaoui Architectes]

The project is a conversion of a workers’ villa from the 1940s, and is part of a protected complex of identical houses originally built for the national railway company workers.

The house had originally one habitable floor and a lower level consisting of a cellar and a garage. The two existing floors can be accessed from the outside.

The intervention proposes the creation of a bedroom and a studio on the lower level, coupled with a new entrance space which reorganises the vertical circulation spaces and gives access to the two levels of the house. So as to achieve the necessary height for the creation of living spaces, the floor of the lower level had to be excavated. Equally, multiple windows were added or otherwise enlarged.

The new height difference, gained both in the bedroom and studio, is marked by a finish of sand-wash concrete, so as to retain the trace of the original level. Additionally, the finishes of the new floor spaces, as well as those of the entrance, are also executed in sand-wash concrete.

In contrast to the concrete finish chosen for the floor as well as the lower part of the walls in both the bedroom and studio, the entrance space was made of wood frames. Its burnt wood facades stand out from the original volume of the house. Text description by the architects.

Photography by: Tonatiuh Ambrosetti