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Plateforme 10: Lausanne’s New Art District

Last Updated on January 18, 2024 by Admin

Have you ever heard of Plateforme 10 in Lausanne? This new artistic district is just a few steps from the Lausanne train station. Its facade pays tribute to the building’s past as a railway shed, with an industrial-looking exterior and practical features. The amenities and atmosphere of Plateforme 10 showcase Lausanne’s cultural characteristics as well.

Image by TouringSwitzerland.com

Overview: Plateforme 10

Plateforme 10 is a fusion of the following museums:

  • Cantonal Museum of Fine Arts (Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts Lausanne  in French, MCBA for short)
  • Cantonal Museum of Photography (Musée de l’Elysée in French)
  • Museum of Contemporary Design and Applied Arts (Musée cantonal de design et d’arts appliqués contemporains in French, MUDAC for short)

Plateforme 10 is completed by the Toms Pauli and Félix Vallotton Foundations, altogether forming the new artistic area of Lausanne.

Opening of Plateforme 10 

A modern, rectilinear building with clean lines, Plateforme 10 opened on October 5, 2019. 

EBV – Estudio Barozzi Veiga, a Barcelona architectural firm, won the competition to design the museum. The building is 145 meters long, 22 meters high, and 21 meters wide.

A former railway locomotive repair shed, Plateforme 10 occupies about 25,000 sq meters. The fact that it’s so close to one of the biggest and busiest transport hubs and that it encompasses several museums will hopefully attract more visitors since its location is easy for commuters. If all goes as planned, trains could reach Plateforme 10 directly in 2025.

Plateforme 10 opened with the support of patrons, the city of Lausanne, and SBB (Swiss Railways). Other donors to the project include Fondation Les Mûrons, Loterie Romande, Fondation Anita et Werner Damm-Etienne, BCV, Fondation Gandur pour l’Art, Audemars Piguet, Madame Alice Pauli, Fondation Ernst Göhner, Nestlé, Fondation Art et Vie, Philip Morris International, ECA, Abakanowicz arts and culture chartitable foundation, Fondation Payot, and Association rétrospective Pierrette Gonseth-Favre. 

Inside Plateforme 10

Image of the 14-meter high tree inside the museum by TouringSwitzerland.com

The entrance to the museum and the more open frontage face north and are lit up by a big window. Upon entering, you are greeted by a 14-meter-high bronze, granite, and gold tree.  Inside, it is airy and spacious. 

Manuel and Francisco Aires Matheus designed this new building with three museums and fourteen arcades. The fact that multiple museums are in one spot makes this a great place for art lovers. There’s a lot of open space here. And because of its size, it can host large-scale projects.

Besides showcasing arts, Plateforme 10 also serves as a place for people to meet, eat, and relax.

 

Inside Plateforme 10‘s building, you can expect the following museums and collections:

  • Ground Floor: Entrance, Espace Project, Book and gift shop, Café Restaurant, Auditorium, Library, Fondation Félix Vallotoon, and Fondation Toms Pauli
  • First Floor: Temporary exhibitions, The Collection Ancient and modern art
  • Second Floor: Temporary exhibitions, The Collection Contemporary art, Espace Focus

In a second building, you’ll find the Elysée museum of photography and the MUDAC Museum of Design and Contemporary Art. 

Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts Lausanne 

Originally in the Palais de Rumine, MCBA is now in Plateforme 10. MCBA has displayed acquisitions and gifts since 1816. Collections include abstract painting, international video art, geometric abstraction, and more.

At MCBA, there are religious paintings, portraits, symbolism, post-impressionism, abstractions, etc. There are temporary exhibit spaces where you can explore a theme or an artist. They alternate between ancient, modern, and contemporary art. 

Some works from the following artists made its way to MCBA: Degas, Renoir, Cézanne, Vuillard, Bonnard, Denis, Rodin, Maillol, Bocion, Biéler, Hodler, and Giovanni Giacometti.

Five exceptional holdings provide MCBA with its rich visual legacy:

  • Louis Ducros
  • Charles Gleyre
  • Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen
  • Félix Vallotton
  • Louis Soutter

How to get to Plateforme 10

TrainCFF Lausanne Train Station, then 3 minutes on foot
BusGare stop with buses 1, 3, and 21
BusCécil stop with bus 6
MétroGare stop with m2

Plateforme 10 is open daily except Mondays starting 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM. It is open until 8:00 PM every Thursday.


Final Thoughts: Plateforme 10

From art lovers to tourists, students, and adults, this museum has something for everyone. Plateforme 10 has great art on display that’s culturally and visually appealing.

Image by TouringSwitzerland.com

With the help of generous donors and local support, Plateforme 10 gives us a chance to engage in art. Having so many wide-open spaces and curated art, it’s great that this modern, creative building is now open to the public.

The best thing is that, with the exception of the temporary exhibitions, the entire museum is free to visit. School classes are especially welcome as visitors to Plateforme 10. Children visiting the museum will also receive a discovery booklet as soon as they step inside. Temporary exhibitions will still be accessible for free to many visitors. This includes those with museum passes, school classes, teachers, Visarte, ICOM, and AMS/VMS members.

They hand out free exhibition guides in French, English, and German at Plateforme 10. Guided tours and workshops are also available several times per week and month.  

I definitely recommend visiting Plateforme 10.

Resources

  • The Museum. Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts Lausanne.
  • The Collection Exhibition Guide. Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts Lausanne.

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Darla Uhl is the owner of TouringSwitzerland.com. Her home is in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. Having lived almost 20 years in Switzerland, she's traveled extensively all over the country.

Darla's favorite regions to visit in Switzerland include Engadin, Lake Geneva, Bernese Oberland, Ticino, and Valais. She loves spending time with her family, hiking, visiting museums, and reading books.

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