Rolex Learning Center

The Rolex Learning Centre ("EPFL Learning Centre") is the campus hub and library for the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), in Lausanne, Switzerland. Designed by the winners of 2010 Pritzker Prize, Japanese-duo SANAA, it opened on 22 February 2010.[2]

EPFL Learning Centre
Centre d'Études de l'EPFL
The centre under construction (mid-2009).
Alternative namesRolex Learning Centre
Bibliothèque de l'EPFL
General information
TypeLibrary, workspaces, multi-purpose hall "Forum Rolex", café, food court, restaurant, offices, bookshop and parking
LocationLausanne campus
Town or cityÉcublens, Lausanne
Opened22 February 2010[1]
Inaugurated27 May 2010[1]
Cost110 million CHF[1]
OwnerÉcole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne
Technical details
Floor count1 + basement
Floor area37,000 m2[1]
Grounds20,000 m2 (166.5 m × 121.5 m)[1]
Design and construction
ArchitectKazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa (SANAA)
Known forInnovative architecture: large one-room space, floor undulations and curved patios


Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa, partners of the Tokyo-based design firm SANAA, were selected as the lead architects in EPFL's international competition in December 2004. The team was selected among famous architects, including Pritzker Prize Laureates such as Zaha Hadid, Rem Koolhaas, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Jean Nouvel, Herzog & de Meuron, Ábalos & Herreros and Xaveer De Geyter.

The construction took place between 2007 and 2009. It cost 110 million Swiss francs and was funded by the Swiss government as well as by private sponsors, Rolex, Logitech, Bouygues Construction, Crédit Suisse, Nestlé, Novartis and SICPA.[1]

The building opened on 22 February 2010 and was inaugurated on 27 May 2010.[1]


The main library, containing 500,000 printed works, is one of the largest scientific collections in Europe; four large study areas can accommodate 860 students with office space for over 100 EPFL and other employees; a multimedia library will give access to 10,000 online journals and 17,000 e-books, with advanced lending machines and systems for bibliographic search; a study centre for use by postgraduate researchers will provide access to the universityʼs major archive and research collection, and there are teaching areas including ten "bubbles" for seminars, group work and other meetings and a Language and Multimedia Centre and associated administration offices.

Main functions

  • Multimedia library – 500,000 volumes
  • Student workspaces – 860 seats
  • Multipurpose hall "Forum Rolex" – 600 seats
  • Café and bar – 53 seats + exterior
  • Food court – 128 seats + exterior
  • Restaurant – 80 seats
  • Career Centre
  • Library staff office
  • EPFL Precious Book Collection
  • Student Association Office (AGEPoly)
  • Alumni department (EPFL Alumni)
  • Research Laboratory for Computer-Human Interaction in Learning and Instruction
  • Centre for Digital Education - CEDE
  • Presses polytechniques et universitaires romandes (EPFL Press)
  • Crédit suisse bank
  • Bookshop "La Fontaine"
  • Parking (500 places)


On 2 April 2015, the press conference of Federica Mogherini (High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs) and Mohammad Javad Zarif (Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iran) following the negotiations of the ministers of foreign affairs of the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, Germany, France, China, the European Union and Iran for a Comprehensive agreement on the Iranian nuclear programme (in the previous days at the Beau-Rivage Palace) was held in the Learning Centre.[3][4]

Part of the 2014 film Love Is the Perfect Crime was filmed at the EPFL Learning Centre.[5]

See also


  1. Press kit of the EPFL Learning Centre, École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (page visited on 2 April 2015).
  2. Architectural record: SANAA Designs Artificial Landscape, retrieved 11 March 2010
  3. Julian Borger and Paul Lewis, "Iran nuclear deal: negotiators announce 'framework' agreement", The Guardian, Thursday 2 April 2015 (page visited on 2 April 2015).
  4. (in French) Frédéric Koller, "Thriller diplomatique au Beau-Rivage Palace", Le Temps, Saturday 4 April 2015, page 5.
  5. (in French) Antoine Duplan, "Le loup déguisé en prof de littérature", Le Temps, 22 January 2014, page 22.

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