A microcosm for education swarms with its first visitors.
The Rolex Learning Center, designed by the architecture firm SANAA, opens its doors today, the 22nd of February, to EPFL students and the public. Stunningly designed and painstakingly engineered, the new campus hub is a social microcosm including a library, a lab for learning as well as several EPFL’s departments and accommodations.
The Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), on the shores of Lake Geneva, welcomes its first visitors – over 10,000 students and public by midday – into its new library. Its form, an undulating interior landscape, has already attracted the attention of architectural critics and as of today, the Rolex Learning Center’s concrete arches will support the weight of the heaviest of responsibilities – a social space. The building is open to all from 7 am to midnight and a library card is offered free of charge.
Hundreds of students came to visit the Rolex Learning Center even before classes started. The first EPFL student to enter the building at 7:02 AM, Aurelie Mindel, a chemistry major, gave her first impression, “I wasn’t expecting something as beautiful as this and I’m looking forward to coming here often.”
500,000 volumes of books and 800 work stations are now available to the public and students alike. The one-level story, by its very design, welcomes the public into its very center by lifting up along its sides to allow the visitor to enter the building from its middle. The campus and the Lausanne region now have an emblematic building that matches their international ambitions.