Whether you want to feast your eyes on fine art or explore cutting edge design concepts, if you're an art lover, a trip to Lausanne should be high on your travel wish list. The Swiss city is set to become a major European arts destination by bringing together some of the city's top creative institutions in one dynamic new district.

Outdoor reception area with a sleek, grey museum building in the background
Plateforme 10 is set to become a major European arts hub. Image by Jean-Bernard Sieber

Lausanne, the French-speaking artistic hub overlooking Lake Geneva and the Savoy Alps, is home to Plateforme 10: a new arts district that's being constructed on the site of a former train yard in the heart of the city. Its goal is to bring together three of the city's major museums - Musée Cantonal des Beaux-Arts (Cantonal Fine Arts Museum or MCBA), the Musée de l’Elysée (Cantonal Museum of Photography) and the MUDAC (Museum of Contemporary Design and Applied Arts) - together in one major arts hub.

The museums are currently located in individual buildings across the city but they'll soon be relocated to sleek new homes with larger exhibition spaces in Plateforme 10. Not only can visitors easily access fine art, architecture, photography, design and textile art in one mega 237,000-square-foot art campus, they can also enjoy restaurants, boutiques and bookshops that will infuse the district with creative energy even after the museums have closed. There are also plans to introduce green spaces and meditation areas where guests can unwind and maybe even reflect on the art that inspired them that day.

Aerial view of Lausanne's new arts district
Aerial view of the complex under construction. Image by Jean-Bernard Sieber

Plateforme 10 is easily accessible from any major city in Switzerland because it's located beside Lausanne train station, a major transport hub. The station currently has nine platforms that are connected through an underground passage and it's hoped that by 2025, visitors will arrive directly on to a tenth platform (Plateforme 10), which will bring them straight to the arts district.

Recasting a former train yard, which was essentially vacant, into a creative space in the heart of the city that everyone can enjoy rather than turning it over to developers for hotels or luxury apartments, was made possible through a shared vision from the city of Lausanne and SBB (Swiss railways), and a variety of foundations, companies and individuals.

Sleek grey exterior of the MCBA Plateforme 10 building
The MCBA Plateforme 10 building. Image by Jean-Bernard Sieber

"It’s a gift to have such a huge space right in the centre of the city — to open it up to everyone in Lausanne — and it’s an interesting location for cultural institutions, to be so close to a very active train station," Chantal Prod’Hom, MUDAC director and Plateforme 10 president, said in an interview with TL Magazine.

The Musée Cantonal des Beaux-Arts is set to open first, on 5 October 2019, and will also house the Toms Pauli Foundation and the Félix Vallotton Foundation. The building that will house both the Musée de l’Elysée and MUDAC will follow in autumn 2021. It's hoped that the new arts district will attract around 20,000 visitors a year.

For more information, visit PLATEFORME 10

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