USM Education Solutions - ECAL Art School

Renens, Switzerland

USM Modular Furniture helps harness the power of modern design to create inspiring learning environments.

For decades, USM has worked with schools and colleges across the globe to develp interior spaces that have flexibility and timelessness. We understand the challenges architects and designers face when planning for campuses. USM modular furniture solutions are designed to adapt to the unique needs of higher education establishments. 

At ECAL Art School, a former textile factory, USM furniture was incorporated within the school's open, spacious loft structures to support diverse ways of working and thinking, creating ideal conditions for art and design students. 

One important facet of design for ECAL Art School involved creating spaces to nurture ideas. Here, 600 young designers from more than 40 countries are studying subjects such as fine arts, photography, film and graphic or industrial design at the prestigious Ecole cantonale d’art de Lausanne (ECAL).The school’s own gallery serves as a platform for presenting student practice and thesis works, and sometimes works as a springboard for careers.

The Industrial Charm of a Former Textile Factory

Bernhard Tschumi designed the plans for renovating the original building, in which socks and knitwear used to be manufactured. The Franco-Swiss architect with offices in Paris and New York made a point of preserving the building’s industrial charm, especially in the interior. From the outside, the former factory has been “packaged” a little, concealed behind a second facade of metal gratings and corrugated profiles. A colorful guidance system that defines individual spaces and functions inside also establishes a connection to the outside, as bands of primary colors stretch across the building’s facade.

Communication and Concentration

Tschumi brought lots of light and air inside this large space. He cut in four courtyards, created new spatial relationships and visual references, and gave the school a sense of openness and expansive space. And rightly so, because creativity does not arise out of confinement; it needs space. At the same time, it is always a challenge to structure and tame the “open space” so that the interplay of privacy and exchange, concentration and communication becomes possible. Freedom of movement and intellectual exchange are desirable, while options for smaller work groups are of equal import. 

Here, USM Haller's modern shelves and sideboards, selected by the school’s directors, provide a significant contribution to the aesthetic quality of the space, offering practical storage solutions that make the interior space more effective. USM furniture is used to define space without closing it off, and our shelves and sideboards are arranged in versatile ways and at every imaginable height.

Even the prestigious reception area for the ECAL was delineated with USM furniture. The offices and seminar rooms are also furnished with USM Haller's elegant and modern tables. Within this architectural concept, characterized by colorful accents, USM Modular Furniture's Haller collection, in black, pure white and pearl gray, exudes a sense of tranquility and elegance. 

For more information on USM Haller Furniture systems, visit our Product Lines section, or download the latest Spaces magazine. 

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