Chaplin's World, Corsier-sur-Vevey

Large-scale project in an exceptional setting.


Situated in a green setting on the heights of Corsier-sur-Vevey, Charly Chaplin's last residence overlooks the Vaud Riviera and offers a magnificent view of Lake Geneva and the Alps. It is on this exceptional site that the future Chaplin Museum has opened 3000 m² of space dedicated to both man and his work.

This new cultural centre is composed of three distinct structures: The Manoir de Ban, its farm and a new one in the museum which will offer modern scenographic, multimedia and cinema spaces.


Throughout this large-scale project, the A+W teams worked to offer a result that met the challenges and expectations of the project owner. Experienced in multi-disciplinary projects, the A+W teams worked tirelessly to design, plan and monitor the heating, ventilation, cooling, sanitary, electrical, sound, lighting, building automation, acoustics and building physics installations. The close collaboration with the operator's scenographers further reinforced the astonishing feeling of the artist's omnipresence.

The Manoir de Ban, which is listed in the Swiss inventory of cultural assets of national importance, has been completely renovated. The challenge for A+W was to transform the technical installations from simple dwellings into heavy installations dedicated to museum purposes and capable of accommodating a large public. All of this was carried out without altering the building's character. The dismantling of the existing woodwork and floors was necessary in order to pass the numerous electrical pipes and cables, hydraulic lines for heating and cooling. Technical solutions had to be devised in order to implement as discreetly as possible the ventilation, security, evacuation sound, fire detection and emergency lighting installations.

In order to guarantee maximum flexibility in the layout, the installations were designed so that the operator would have an infrastructure that would allow him to extend his scenographic installations in the future without having to carry out heavy dismantling and adaptation work.

Nestled under the roof structure, the VIP room can accommodate two hundred visitors for events, presentations and conferences. Thanks to a well-integrated ventilation system and ambient cooling, guests and visitors can experience the Chaplin experience in a pleasant climate and thermal comfort.

In the basement of the manor house, the deployment of the techniques and their spatial coordination presented a real challenge of integration in the face of the architectural complexity of the premises. The vaulted ceilings did not allow the passage of the many networks and fluids. Again in order to optimise the space, a false floor of a few tens of centimetres was designed to allow the ventilation ducts, hydraulic pipes and cable trays to pass through.

In the new museum building, visitors begin their visit with a film projection that immediately plunges them into the Chaplin atmosphere. In order to gain more stage space, the ventilation monoblock was suspended more than four metres above the audience. In order to guarantee the sound comfort of the spectators, the acoustician from A+W provided high-performance solutions and thus made the ventilation as silent as the first Charlie Chaplin films. Confined in a special box and built with special acoustic elements, the almost two-ton unit was given special attention. In the other areas, care was taken to optimise and keep the techniques discreet. The installations have been designed with a view to ensuring great flexibility of scenographic evolution for the operator.

One of the challenges lay in the composition of the slab, as it is crossed by prestressed cables and it was not possible to incorporate techniques. The irregular ceiling, with its numerous drop-offs, made the layout and implementation of the building's techniques more complex. In order to comply with the technical template allocated to us, our HVACES teams carried out a coordination "at the shoehorn" and innovative and creative solutions were undertaken in order to meet complex specifications.

For optimum discretion, all the techniques were painted black, making them almost invisible to the public.

In Charlie Chaplin's time, the former farmhouse housed staff accommodation, stables, barn and shed. Partly listed as a Monument and Site in the Canton of Vaud, its new assignment required some in-depth work by A+W's technical teams. Today, the solutions proposed and implemented make it possible to accommodate the HVAC installations necessary to meet the high demands of visitor reception, while respecting the character of the original building. It is at the entrance to the car parks and close to the building that a pit has been dug to accommodate the air coolers, which are essential components of the site's cooling system. This attractive solution provided a visual discretion appreciated by the architect and the project owner.

A wood-fired boiler room supplies heat to the entire site via a remote pipe. The choice of this primary energy of renewable origin affirms a desire for sustainability and respect for the environment. A+W's technical teams who were involved in this exceptional project are today happy to have contributed to this success. We are proud to have thus contributed to perpetuating the influence of Charlie Chaplin's work in Switzerland and throughout the world.



A+W Lausanne



Domaine du Manoir de Ban SA


Itten+Brechbühl SA, Lausanne

Facts and Figures

47'000 m²
26'000 m³
Start of the project
End of the project
30 Mio CHF
Cost of the project

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