Timber theatre pavilion with elegant folding technique

Two key elements of the Théâtre de Vidy’s new 250-seater timber pavilion immediately stand out: the geometry and the construction method used for the building envelope.

The folding technique is both aesthetically attractive and helps to optimise the structural calculations. The intricate arrangement enables the triangular components to stabilise one another, thus allowing for the use of timber composite boards that are just 45 mm thick.

The building’s second speciality is the way in which the boards are joined. They were slotted together using intricate wood-wood tenon joints – in a method similar to traditional dovetailing – meaning there was little need for glue or screws. The force transmission of the tenon joints and the required composition of the timber boards was studied in collaboration with IBOIS at EPFL University in Lausanne. The combination of traditional craftsmanship and cutting-edge production technologies has led to the creation of an inspiring cultural venue.

Project details

Théâtre de Vidy, Lausanne
Yves Weinand, Atelier Cube
Project type:
Art and culture
Construction type:
Free Form
Timber construction
Lausanne, Switzerland
The sun shines on the entrance area of the Théatre de Vidy.

Reception area, Théâtre de Vidy

The photograph shows the grey wooden facade somewhat hidden behind green leaves

Folded plate-style support structure

View of the red seating in the theatre with black background

Interior view of the seating at Théâtre de Vidy

View of special wooden detail in the ceiling area of the theatre before painting.

Timber construction details, Théâtre de Vidy

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