EPFL is devising ways of breathing new life into an industrial site

Geigy’s former agricultural research center covers an area of 125 hectares. For two semesters, EPFL architecture students used this impressive setting, in the town of Saint-Aubin in Fribourg canton, as a blank canvas for their creative ideas.

During the academic year, undergraduates supervised by Anja and Martin Fröhlich, directors of EPFL’s Laboratory of Elementary Architecture and Studies of Types (EAST), researched potential new uses for the site, which has been disused since 2016 (see EPFL News, 31 May 2018). On 1 and 2 September, they will present the final phase of their work in the form of an exhibition and guided tour, as part of the European Heritage Days event in partnership with Fribourg Canton’s culture department.

“The exhibition has been devised and developed by our students to appeal to all audiences. It aims to show visitors how to appreciate the site and to highlight its interesting features. Our students will present the results of their research into ways of converting and reusing the space. The exhibition also looks at the site’s industrial heritage and future potential. This is the first time that the site has been opened to the public,” explained Tiago P. Borges, researcher at EAST and joint organizer of the exhibition.