EPFL Rolex Learning Center, Lausanne

EPFL Rolex Learning Center, Lausanne


The campus of the École Polytechnique Fédérale of Lausanne is on Lake Leman’s shores, with views of the Alps. The spirit of the EPFL is based on the collaboration among universities, so eliminating the boundaries between them was one of the principles in this multipurpose space at the service of the whole university. In this way, the center favors impromptu gatherings in a context without designated itineraries. The program – taking up 14,000 square meters – includes a library, an area with teaching facilities like conference halls, cultural spaces, communal areas and a large parking lot.

One of the most unique aspects of the building is the absence of physical boundaries. It is an unobstructed space, defined by its artificial geography. The separation between the different functions is based on the manipulation of the horizontal plane, lifting it or subtly reducing its height with undulations that delimit the different areas, emphasizing the sensation of openness and transparency without interrupting the spatial continuity and free-flowing relationship with the landscape. In this way, the silence zones are grouped together and separated from the rest by changes in height. 

Cliente Client

École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)

Arquitectos Architects

SANAA. Kazuyo Sejima, Ryue Nishizawa

Colaboradores Collaborators

Y. Yamada, R. Yamamoto, O. Kato, N. Noguchi, M. Kaji, T. Hasegawa, L.A. Grego, T. Kondo, M. Haertel, C. Canas; Architram (estudio local local studio)

Consultores Consultants

Botta Management Group (gestión de proyecto project management); Sasaki (concepto estructural structural concept); Bollinger + Grohmann, Walther Moty Maier, BG, Losinger (estructura structural engineering); Enerconom (instalaciones MEP); Scherler (electricidad electrical systems); Emmer Pfenninger (fachada facade); Sorane (energía energy); EcoAcoustique (acústica acoustics); Karakas & Français (geotecnia geotechnics)

Contratista Contractor

Losinger-Groupe Bouygues

Fotos Photos

Iwan Baan, Alain Herzog, SANAA, Losinger, Sergio Pirrone, Roland Halbe