A catalyst for
innovative collaboration

Internal and external collaboration is at the heart of the design of the Olympic House. With its five-ring central staircase linking the various floors and its transparent and collaborative working areas, the building offers a cutting-edge environment for its primary users, hence reflecting the change of mindset of the Olympic Movement and its administration.

The Olympic House is also a unique example of innovative collaboration between many different stakeholders, including some of the IOC’s commercial partners (Dow, Toyota and Panasonic), and sustainability certification bodies, local authorities, suppliers and academics, as well as the IOC staff.

IOC / Luca Delachaux
Collaboration with Commercial Partners
  • As a Worldwide Olympic Partner, The Dow Chemical Company (Dow) is delivering an innovative global carbon mitigation programme to compensate carbon emissions associated with the construction and operation of the Olympic House. The Olympic House has also benefited from a number of Dow’s products and solutions to enhance its architecture and environmental performance.
  • As the Official Chemistry Company of the Olympic Games, and the Official Carbon Partner of the IOC, Dow combines science and technology knowledge to develop premier materials science solutions that help the IOC deliver its carbon neutrality objective. With a long heritage of innovation and leadership in both high-performance sports and sustainability solutions, Dow has been a supplier of technologies for the Olympic Games since 1980.
  • Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) is the global mobility company that introduced the Prius hybrid-electric car in 1997 and the first mass-produced fuel cell saloon, Mirai, in 2014. Headquartered in Toyota City, Japan, Toyota has been making cars since 1937.
  • As part of its mobility plan, the IOC received a fleet of Toyota Mirai zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell cars. To allow refuelling of the vehicles, a temporary hydrogen fuelling station – one of the first in Switzerland - will be installed at Olympic House, before a public station is commissioned nearby. 
  • As the Worldwide Mobility Partner, Toyota is committed to mobility as a source of inspiration and as a way to improve the quality of life for all.
  • Panasonic will supply the audio-visual equipment (screens, projectors, etc.) for the meeting rooms in the Olympic House in order to support interactive physical and remote meetings.
  • Panasonic became a Worldwide Olympic Partner in 1987, when it joined the Worldwide TOP programme as a founding member, and for over 30 years has been supporting the Olympic Games, the IOC and NOCs around the world with its cutting-edge AV equipment solutions. Sharing the values of the Olympic Movement – which aspires to build a better, more peaceful world – this partnership will continue through to the Olympic Games 2024.
Collaboration with sustainability certification bodies

The IOC worked very closely with all suppliers, in particular those providing construction materials and furniture items for which the screening approach went well beyond usual practices in the construction sector. The Olympic House was a pilot project as part of the launch of the new Swiss Sustainable Construction Standard (SNBS), led by the Swiss Confederation.

Collaboration with the local authorities


In collaboration with the local authorities, a number of initiatives aimed at the general public have been undertaken around the Olympic House.

  • Sport and Culture:
    • Children’s playground: Collaboration with local authorities to build a new playground for children in the park in front of the Olympic House.
    • Point of interest: Collaboration with local authorities and ECAL to develop a Point of Interest set to become a new tourist attraction and the starting point of a promenade along Lake Geneva leading to The Olympic Museum
    • Roman history: Collaboration with the Vidy Roman Museum to highlight the archaeological findings from the IOC site during the preliminary works.
    • Fontaine de Granit: Remains of the Swiss National Exposition in 1964, which will be secured and refurbished.
  • Transport:
    • Bus line 24 opening June 2019 from Bourdonette to Tour Haldimand (connecting several Olympic-related sites in Lausanne).
Collaboration with Schools, Students and Academics

The IOC entered into a number of partnerships with local universities and schools to allow students and pupils to actively take part in the Olympic House project.

  • EPFL workshop

The IOC partnered with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) and offered local architecture students the chance to come up with innovative solutions with regard to the reuse of materials from the former building prior to its deconstruction. This partnership took the form of a workshop called Youth for Reuse and organised in collaboration with two specialised international architecture offices: ROTOR (Brussels) and AFF Architects (Berlin). In February 2016, 23 architecture students, of various nationalities and in different years of study, spent a week scanning and assessing each element of the former building. They eventually were able to present numerous concrete ways of reusing materials for educational and social purposes, as well as various recycling options.

  • ACVIE – Electrics

The IOC reached out to the Vaud Cantonal Association of Certified Electricians (ACVIE) and provided them with a large number of high-quality circuit-breakers in good condition to be used by their apprentices. During the 2016-2017 school year, more than 700 apprentices trained on the 350 circuit-breakers provided by the IOC.

  • Fence – Chromatix

With a view to involving the local population, the IOC invited the Chromatix association to produce the frescoes which cover most of the lake side of the fence around the building site. Several groups of youngsters, aged between 9 and 16 from various local schools, were involved in this workshop. For environmental reasons, the sprays and paints used are water-based, so posed no risk either to the surrounding area or to the young artists who used them.

IOC / Luca Delachaux
  • Cabanon project – EPFL

As part of the IOC-EPFL partnership and the Youth for Reuse workshop, the deconstruction offered architecture and history of art students the chance to take part in an academic project. The Cabanon Project was the result of collaboration between Le Cabanon-UNIL (an association of Lausanne University art history students) and the Laboratoire EAST-EPFL (a project workshop at the EPFL architecture faculty).

Seeking to link academic theory to the professional future of their students, Le Cabanon and the Laboratoire EAST got together to think about creating a temporary pavilion which could hold works of art. The materials available to the architecture students for this project came from the deconstruction of the former IOC administration buildings.

Collaboration with professional associations

With more than 1,000 workers involved in the project, it was paramount that the IOC comply with the most stringent safety and security norms. In addition, through a partnership with the Fédération Vaudoise des Entrepreneurs (FVE), the IOC took part in a pilot project developed to offer safe working conditions and combat illegal work.

Collaboration with the construction sector

IOC / Camille Chardonnens / Atelier Delachaux Photographie

The IOC decided to build Olympic House using a traditional construction model. This direct relationship with all the construction companies ensured quality and favoured an innovative approach:

  • Flexibility is one of the Key Success Factors of Olympic House, and this required strong collaboration between architects and engineers to meet the IOC’s ambition to have maximum flexibility in terms of both physical elements (columns, partitions) and technical distribution, to make sure that the layout can be re-arranged according to need.
  • Re-use: Collaboration between the civil engineer and the major works company allowed the reuse on site of concrete from the former administrative building, a first in Switzerland
  • Sustainability: Detailed briefings on sustainability requirements were given to suppliers for their products and services. All materials used on site were screened prior to their installation, to make sure they comply with the highest sustainability certifications.
  • Lean management planning: The IOC encouraged the architects to apply a Lean Management approach to the construction planning of Olympic House. This approach is highly collaborative and is based on a parallelisation (when possible) of tasks rather than sequencing them one after another, thus speeding up the construction process.
  • Technology: logiciel BIM
  • List of main companies involved in the project:

Collaboration with furniture manufacturers
  • The IOC devoted a lot of effort to influencing its supply chain, which resulted in several significant long-term changes to suppliers’ operations. As a result, the main furniture manufacturer for Olympic House has now decided to certify all the products in its catalogue according to Greenguard standards (low emission products).
  • Assistance to contractors in finding compliant materials and furniture and in obtaining the relevant sustainability certifications (e.g. FSC certification).
Collaboration with IOC staff

The Olympic House supports and influences internal collaboration between the IOC staff through the innovative design of the workplace. The belief that architecture shapes behaviour was a primary consideration in the planning of the new Headquarters by 3XN. The transparency and flow of the design are intended to facilitate and encourage interaction, communication and knowledge-sharing among the IOC staff. By allowing daily activities to be visible, the design reflects fair play and openness. Enhanced circulation will serve as a catalyst for collaboration between the workforce. The interior is designed with as few structural constraints as possible, creating a flexible environment that will adapt to multiple work styles, now and in the future.

From day one (in 2013), the IOC staff have been involved in the project, providing valuable input that served as guidelines throughout the process, to ensure the construction of a user-friendly building.

IOC / Luca Delachaux
  • 2013: online surveys, focus groups and space occupation study to define the user needs to be integrated into the architecture competition programme.
  • 2016: workplace satisfaction survey (Leesman Index) and space occupation study to revalidate the hypothesis from 2013 and adjust the office floors’ layout.
  • 2017: Mock-up space of the office space set up in a warehouse for users to test the proposed furniture and provide feedback. 200 IOC staff came to visit.
  • 2018: Visits to the construction site to have a feel of how Olympic House will be. 200 IOC staff took part of the visits.

In addition to these activities with the entire IOC staff, a community of 40 “Olympic House Ambassadors” was created in 2017 to have a representative sample of the IOC staff to work on:

  • Choice of furniture
  • Definition of policies (mobility, clean desk, etc.)
  • Preparation for the move to Olympic House

The IOC top management has also been involved through twice-yearly all-day seminars taking place in March and September in 2017 and 2018.

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