Rolex Learning Centre, EPFL Campus, Lausanne, Switzerland
The Rolex Learning Centre is a university study centre by Japanese architects SANAA, in Lausanne, Switzerland. Although it opened in 2010, I made it to Lausanne to see this magnificent university campus library for myself last week. The centre is located on the campus of the science and technology university EPFL (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne), and is be open to both students and the public. I visited on a Sunday and it was buzzing with students and visitors working away in their pods, or communal work spaces.
Words from the press release follow: Built on the campus of EPFL Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, The Rolex Learning Centre designed by the internationally acclaimed Japanese architectural practice, SANAA, opened on 22 February 2010.
‘The Rolex Learning Centre will function as a laboratory for learning, a library with 500,000 volumes and an international cultural hub for EPFL, open to both students and the public. Spread over one single fluid space of 20,000 sq metres, it provides a seamless network of services, libraries, information gathering, social spaces, spaces to study, restaurants, cafes and beautiful outdoor spaces. It is a highly innovative building, with gentle slopes and terraces, undulating around a series of internal ‘patios’, with almost invisible supports for its complex curving roof, which required completely new methods of construction.
The Rolex Learning Center has been financed by the Swiss government and major Swiss businesses. Rolex’s participation in the project is the fruit of a long-standing relationship with EPFL in research into materials science and microtechnology for watch design, and its deep rooted tradition of philanthropy in the arts, science and culture through the Rolex Awards for Enterprise and the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative. Logitech made the initial contribution that launched the architectural competition. Losinger, member of Bouygues Construction Group and sponsor, was the principle contractor for the building. Credit Suisse, another financial partner for the project, will have a Future Banking Laboratory in the building. Further internationally active Swiss partners who contributed to the finance, research, and innovation of the building are Nestlé, Novartis, and SICPA.
EPFL Rolex Learning Centre, Lausanne Switzerland.
Open to visitors daily – Images & text excerpts courtesy of the press dept at EPFL.