The Metaphoros metamorphosis

In the last issue of the Bulletin, the Director-General announced the name of the winner of the architectural competition for the design of the sections of the CERN site adjacent to the route de Meyrin. In this issue, we invite you to take a detailed look at the winning project.


The route de Meyrin, between the Globe (on the right) and the Reception (behind the giant screen), as designed by Studio Bürgi. (Photo: Studio Bürgi sis - Camorino).

"Metaphoros" is the name of the winning project submitted by the Ticino architects' office Studio Bürgi in the competition for the design of the sections of the CERN site adjacent to the route de Meyrin. “Metaphoros is derived from the Greek,” explains Paolo Bürgi, the landscape architect who heads the project. “It conveys the idea of transport, travel and communication, which are some of CERN’s defining characteristics!”

The aim of the Metaphoros project is primarily to convey the creative and dynamic atmosphere of CERN. With this in mind, the core of the design is a large “Place des particules” which will extend from the Globe to the future new Main Building (this building is scheduled to be the subject of a subsequent architectural competition and, in principle, will be built in the area between the Reception Building and Gate B). The line of flags, which is currently consigned to the car park adjacent to the Reception Building, will link the Globe and the new Main Building. “We wanted to underline the international character of the Organization,” adds Paolo Bürgi. “And this is precisely the message that will be conveyed by the Place des particules. There will be a huge screen in front of the Reception Building parallel to the tramline on which images and videos will be projected illustrating the huge implications of the work that CERN is engaged in.”

The line of flags will link the Globe and the new Main Building (on the right in the picture). (Photo: Studio Bürgi sis - Camorino).

On a larger scale, the Metaphoros project also pays tribute to the LHC: “This huge 27 km facility runs beneath villages, forest and agricultural land,” enthuses Paolo Bürgi. ”Each intersection between the tunnel and a main road, a street or a track could be marked with a sign. Walkers would then know that the LHC is just under their feet. Then it’s for them to imagine what it's like."

The CERN stretch of the route de Meyrin, the main road between Geneva and CERN, will also be getting a facelift. It will be lined with pyramid-shaped trees and a myriad of multicoloured varieties of plants. In a few years’ time it should be quite a show.

by Anaïs Schaeffer