Aux Entrepôts: Evoking the Site’s Industrial History

HHF Architects

Architects: HHF Architects
Location: Renens, Switzerland
Area: 5,853 m2
Year: 2021
Photography: Iwan Baan

Angular, shimmering brick façades in green, yellow, purple, and red give a strong identity to HHF Architects’ winning entry for part of the new master plan Parc du Simplon in Renens, Lausanne. The ruggedness and simplicity of the bricks are evocative of the site’s industrial history, while the glazed surfaces contribute to the lively atmosphere of the area.

The complex mixes different housing types and standards, from mini lofts designed for flexible use to family apartments and penthouse units with generous rooftop terraces. Facilities for the general public are combined with the deep mini lofts modelled on Dutch examples, which enlivens the ground floor of the urban building ensemble.

Once you enter any of the three- or four-story buildings, you instantly know which one you are in, since the inner ceilings in semi-public spaces are painted in the corresponding color, which is also applied to the underside of the spiraling concrete staircases, creating a near-psychedelic effect. The exterior hues are used on windowsills, balcony fences and retractable awnings.

In all, the four vibrant buildings contain a total of 70 dwelling units along with studios and retail space. The tenants of Aux Entrepôts moved in in June 2021, adding another layer of life to the area adjacent to the Renens Station.