#10103 La Troisième Place est Votre Espace: Reimagining the Historic Palais Wilson










About the Project

As a result of the 2023 Geneva Trialogue’s parallel roundtable discussions, nine well-defined challenges suitable for prototyping in a follow-up hackathon were formulated. Our team of Innovation, Human Development, and Sustainability masters students at the University of Geneva took-on one of these challenges: reconceptualize the historic Palais Wilson into a building conducive for collaboration, learning and innovation for both “international Geneva” and “local Geneva”. In less than two weeks, our team developed a new concept and 3D model of the Palais with the theme: “La troisième place est votre espace” (“The third place is your space”). The reimagined Palais was proposed as follows: 

  • Ground floor: Public exploratory science center and experiential art exhibits highlighting the Sustainable Development Goals 

  • Floor 2: Unpaid UN intern accommodation 

  • Floors 3 and 4: Co-working spaces for academia, NGOs, innovators, and other Geneva-based professionals

  • Floor 5: Permanent Missions’ flexible office space for those without residence in Geneva 

  • Exterior: Public event and activity area

With the support of the SDG FabLab, the student team developed a 3D model of the reimagined Palais Wilson. The team first created a vector-cut red line file of the front and back facade of the Palais, which was laser cut and etched into clear acrylic. Floors of the Palais were constructed using the FabLab’s laser cutter and a chalkboard maker was used to trace floor plans of each étage. A few mechanisms were considered to uphold the model’s structural stability. Ultimately, both facades of the Palais were attached to a wood base with L-brackets, and the floors slid into the center of the model, which were fastened with construction bolts. In addition, a paper print-out of the ground floor’s blueprint was glued onto the wood base, which was visible through the transparent acrylic. 

  • Design/Urban design

Lab Manager

Camille Ray

City/Town- CountrySwitzerland Website

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