The modern city
En 1850, l'espace bâti n'excède pratiquement pas les limites de l'enceinte médiévale. Le fort accroissement de la population est absorbé en surélevant les immeubles et en densifiant leur cloisonnement. De même, le trafic est assuré par l'étroite voirie ancienne, qui traverse les rivières au plus court, par des ponts en fond de vallée.
Since 1850 Lausanne began a very rapid expansion. The first of several important civil engineering projects was the construction in 1844 of the Grand-Pont, link in the almost level circuit. In 1856 when the railway arrived in Lausanne, the increased need for transport led to the construction of the cable railway between the station and the lake. The river Flon was covered over, to create a new industrial and commercial district.
Three figures show Lausanne's population growth: 15,000 in 1850, 65,000 in 1910, 120,000 in 1999. From 1870 onwards intensive building took place outside the Old Town, without any guiding plan until 1905. The quarter of Georgette for example, like the one below the station, is made up partly of individual apartment buildings, partly of a continuous street frontage. Schools, churches, or hotels reflect the newer architectural projects of the time, while many of the constructions in the centre were erected after massive demolition of ancient buildings. This expansion of Lausanne has continued all through the 20th century, not always with the happiest results.
Higher commercial school
This vast building was erected in 1915 as part of an important school construction project for all levels of education, begun in the mid-1800s.
Bus: tl 2, 21 Presbytère
Palais de Rumine
The plans of this ornate building, constructed in 1900 with the help of a legacy by Gabriel de Rumine, won first prize in an architectural competition. Originally the palace housed the university, the library and the Fine Arts and Science museums.
Bus: tl 8 Riponne – Maurice Béjart
Métro m2: Station Riponne – Maurice Béjart
The construction of this “skyscraper” in 1932 caused intense dispute, on account of its challenge to the domination of the skyline by the cathedral. The basement contains a splendid concert hall.
Bus: tl Bel-Air
Métro m1 et m2: Station Lausanne-Flon
Parking: Flon ou Riponne
The reinforced concrete technique used for many of these buildings was new at the time. The flat roofs and straight alignments form a marked contrast with the medieval Old Town.
Bus: tl Saint-François, Bel-Air ou Chauderon
Métro m1 ou m2: Station Lausanne-Flon ou Vigie
Municipal theater – Lausanne Opera
The original theatre, conceived in 1805 as part of Lausanne’s new identity, was situated in the rue Marterey. In 1871 it was replaced by the present theatre, then in one of the new districts.
This neighbourhood was planned in 1870, as a link between the station and the Grand-Pont. To the west the street is a continuous frontage, to the east many buildings appear as separate apartment houses.
Bus: tl 1, 2, 4, 8, 9, 12, 17 Georgette
In the mid-1800s the different religious communities started to have their own places where they could meet and pray. The synagogue dates from 1910.
Angle Juste-Olivier/Florimont – 1002 Lausanne
Bus: tl 1, 2, 4, 8, 9, 12, 17 Georgette
Avenue F.-C. de la Harpe
Construction between the train station and the lake began in 1890. The streets running across the slope consisted mostly of large apartment houses for middle-class families.
Bus: tl 1 Dapples
Métro m2: Station Jordils
This impressive hotel dating from 1909 is a witness to the attraction of the lake area for tourists of that time, especially since the mid-1800s after the railway arrived in Lausanne.
Avenue d'Ouchy 40 – 1006 Lausanne
Bus: tl 2 Croix d'Ouchy
Métro m2: Station Délices
Pavilion of the national exhibition
The National Exhibition of 1964, held in Lausanne, figured many pavilions considered as notable architectural innovations. Most have disappeared but this one survives.