Olympic House, the new home of the International Olympic Committee in Lausanne, welcomed 2185 visitors between Friday evening and Saturday afternoon, in parallel to the European Heritage Days.
Young and old, neighbours and tourists, Olympic fans, local sport clubs or those who are simply curious, had the opportunity to explore the brand-new building, which was inaugurated on 23 June and has already become a must-see in the Olympic Capital.
In groups of 20 people, visitors could discover the upper levels and workspaces of Olympic House, including the IOC President’s office, where they were greeted by Thomas Bach in person. “It was great to welcome so many interested Lausannois and people from around the world. Here in Olympic House beats the heart of the Olympic Movement. It is an open and accessible place. I am very happy that so many people accepted our invitation,” said IOC President Thomas Bach, who even allowed the guests to take his seat for a few minutes.
In the main entrance hall, both the statue of Olympic Games founder Pierre de Coubertin and the torch of the Youth Olympic Games Lausanne 2020 proved popular amongst the guests. Many guests also visited the exhibition about the values of Olympism and watched a video retracing the construction process of Olympic House.
The visit highlighted IOC’s sustainability efforts, Olympic House being one of the most sustainable buildings in the world after having obtained three of the most rigorous international certifications.
“I walk by the building very often, so I was curious to see the inside,” said Amanda, a happy visitor. “I was impressed by the architecture and how it reflects the Olympic values: the main staircase representing the Olympic rings is very impressive. I love the symbolism. I was also surprised to learn about the sustainability of the building and how everything has been designed to achieve the best standards”.
Olympic House was designed around four concepts: integration (into its local environment), athletes at the heart (the shape is inspired by movement), peace (solar panels on the roof in the form of a dove), and unity (the central staircase represents the five Olympic rings).
With this new building, the IOC has confirmed its attachment to Lausanne, the Olympic Capital. This high-quality project, which was developed in close cooperation with the local authorities, provides the region with an emblematic architectural landmark. The design is intended to ensure that the building blends seamlessly into its environmental and historic setting and integrates with the local community.
Organised in Switzerland for the 26th time, Heritage Days invite the public (re)discover the built heritage of Switzerland in all its forms, and highlight the historical, political and aesthetical aspects of many heritage monuments and sites across the country. This campaign is a cultural initiative of the Council of Europe and is supported by the European Union. The Days are organised in 50 European countries, and attract almost 20 million visitors each year in Europe alone.