AGORA Cancer Centre, Lausanne

AGORA cancer centre is being constructed at the Lausanne hospital site, adjacent to the Lake of Geneva, Switzerland.

Project Type

Cancer research centre


Lausanne, near Lake of Geneva, Switzerland

Construction Started

September 2016

Expected Completion



Cancer centre constructed at Lausanne hospital

AGORA cancer centre is being constructed at the Lausanne hospital site, adjacent to the Lake of Geneva, Switzerland.

The Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research (The ISREC Foundation) is developing the project, which commenced in September 2016.

Being developed with an investment of CHF80m ($81.34m), the translational research facility will be a key component of the Swiss Cancer Centre Lausanne (SCCL). It will house researchers, clinicians, and scientists under one roof to perform research on cancer and develop therapeutic solutions.

The ISREC Foundation is developing the project in partnership with Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois (CHUV), École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), and the University of Lausanne (UNIL).

The facility is expected to commence operations by early-2018.

AGORA cancer centre design

The multi-storey research centre will have a total floor space of 12,000m² including 6,500m² of laboratory space, 1,500m² of technical and infrastructure areas, and a 700m² atrium.

The facility will be connected to an existing building in the campus on one side. Shared amenities of the building will feature continuous landscaping to connect public spaces with the research labs.

In addition, the building features social areas both inside and outside. The building’s structure will be clad with a green rooftop and a glazed skin to provide protection from sunlight and augment daylight use. The windows will minimise heat gain and allow for natural ventilation.

The facility will also feature both renewable and existing energy systems on site to create a sustainable working environment.

Facilities at the new cancer research centre in Lausanne

The building will have three research lab floors, each dedicated to pre-clinical research, imaging, and molecular analysis.

It can accommodate up to 300 scientists, doctors, biologists, geneticists, immunologists, bio-informaticians, and bioengineers, as well as 15 clinical teams. Each laboratory can accommodate between 15 and 20 scientists and clinicians.

An auditorium will house oncology specialists and facilitate young students to interact with researchers.

Research activities of the AGORA cancer research centre

The facility will enable researchers to develop new therapeutic approaches collaboratively. It will provide a platform for complementary interactions between the researchers at UNIL and EPFL, the clinicians at CHUV and Ludwig, and UNIL scientific groups to co-ordinate different areas of expertise in the field of oncology.

The researchers will focus on developing solutions for malignant skin cancer, glioblastoma, and lung, breast, and pancreatic cancers.

Contractors involved

Behnisch Architekten was awarded the contract to provide design and construction services for the research centre in 2013.

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