Research & Education

Competition new agricultural research institute Agroscope, Changins

The site of the federal research institute in Nyon is characterized by different building typologies. At the core of the facility is the 18th-century Changins Castle. Over the last forty years, the site has been added to and extended with research buildings and training buildings for winegrowing and vegetable cultivation. The construction of the new laboratory building and greenhouses for research purposes replaces previous obsolete installations. What makes the eye-catching, clearly distinguishable volume for the new laboratory building stand out, is its simple interior courtyard typology. The greenhouses are arranged on two levels of terrain for optimal solar irradiation. 

Minergie P-Eco 
Fulfillment of the Minergie-P-Eco criteria posed particular challenges for the design. These strict specifications for the planning of a laboratory and research building are a first and have never been implemented before. The ideal arrangement on the terrain and the building's highly compact form, combined with the roofed interior courtyard, create the ideal basis for an energy-optimized building concept. The applied sustainable construction methods and the building services equipment concepts optimally supplement the chosen interior courtyard typology. During selection of materials, particular importance was attached to the gray energy factor and to recycling. 

Facade concept  
The outer layer of the facade is derived from the form and function of a seed's protective coat. The concept of the inner layer was developed on the basis of the functional and technical requirements of a laboratory facade. The two facade elements complement each other and, in combination with the low ratio between the building envelope's thermal surface and the energy reference area, meet the strict requirements of Minergie-P-Eco. 

Federal office for construction and logistics OFCL, Berne 

Period of time
2009 – 2010