The city of Renens underwent serious industrial development near the end of the 19th century, largely thanks to its recycling yard. But deindustrialization has also had its turn: Kodak and IRIL are two examples of gems lost at the end of the 20th century.

In 2012, when the IRL (Printer’s Union Lausanne) announced the closing of its doors, the city of Renens, CACIB SA and the canton of Vaud did not hesitate to intervene. Through a guarantee backed by a back-guarantee, the canton and city let the previous executives resume activity under the new entity of IRL Plus. CACIB SA (the shareholders being Renens village (60%) and SICOL (40%)) bought the building to permit the previous owner to pack up and leave.

The foundation of the Ateliers de la Ville de Renens was created in 2007 as a part of the Lausanne cantonal school of art (ECAL) in the previous IRIL workshop (pantyhose and stocking factory) of Renens. It is within this building that the foundation housed no less than 22 entrepreneurial projects in 9 years. The foundation of the Ateliers played a large role in the reallocation of the vacated premises at Closel. With its network and partners, the foundation knew how to attract various occupants and sustain promising initiatives, like UniverCity, powered by the Inartis Foundation.

In its new strategy for economic promotion (see article N° 87-2015), the Renens municipality sustained the transfer of the Ateliers from their ECAL location to the Closel site in 2016, and inaugurated the building “the Ateliers de Renens.”

Today, the IRL+ no longer exist, but their industrial footprint remains the breeding ground for fresh sprouts. This is a marvelous opportunity that the authorities decided to support, rejecting the plan to build a residential area, and instead letting these new companies hatch and develop.


L’objectif de la Fondation des Ateliers de la Ville de Renens est de fédérer, autour de la présence et des compétences de l’ECAL, les différents acteurs en lien avec la formation, l’innovation et le design pour former le “Pôle design de Renens”.

Conseil de Fondation

Extracts from the statues of the Foundation

Article III – Goal

The foundation has the goal of encouraging, by all useful means, the economic promotion of business creators (acting individually or through legal structures with or without legal personality), in Renens, in order to facilitate the beginnings of their activities in the domains of training, innovation or design. It aims to animate the Ateliers de Renens building on the Closel site, helping and accompanying the hosted companies.

The foundation favors and gives priority to, to the extent possible, creators from Renens and West Lausanne.

The foundation is a purely public utility, and non-profit organization.


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