EPFL Rolex-Learning Center  
Lausanne, Switzerland 
© Frank Kaltenbach
© Iwan Baan

project description

The design of the new Learning Centre of the EPFL has an essential impact on the appearance of the campus. Smooth white waves with countless flowing volume variations create a special ambience with spacious areas for the public and intimate working zones. With a central library, lecture halls, study facilities and services, exhibition halls, conference halls, cafeteria and a restaurant the building is the centre of campus life.


The load-bearing shell consists of a perforated smaller and a larger-sized free-span reinforced concrete shell, spanning up to 90 metres. The edges of the shell are fully fixed to the pre-tensioned concrete ceiling slab of the lower level. The steel-grid structure of the roof consists of crossing continuous beams and aligned secondary girders. It bears on slender columns fully fixed to the shell.


Client: Eidg. Finanzverwaltung EFW, Lausanne, Switzerland
Architect: SANAA Kazuyo Sejima & Ryue Nishizawa, Tokio, Japan
Completion: 2010

NFA: 37,000 m² | Gross volume: 131,000 m³ | Seismic structural design

Service: Structural Design

Consultant engineer: SAPS Sasaki and Partner, Tokyo

In collaboration with: Walther Mory Maier AG, Basel


Prix Acier 2011


From conceptual design to execution, ROLEX LEARNING CENTER in Lausanne
IASS 2009, Evolution and trends in design, analysis and construction of shell and spatial structures, Valencia

Formfinding of the shells of the ROLEX LEARNING CENTER in Lausanne
IASS 2009, Evolution and trends in design, analysis and construction of shell and spatial structures, Valencia

Das ROLEX Learning Center der EPFL in Lausanne
K. Bollinger, M. Grohmann, M. Wagner, A. Weilandt, R. Walther, G. Santini, S. von Ah, in: Beton- und Stahlbetonbau; Ernst & Sohn Verlag, Berlin; Heft 4, 2010, S. 248

Shell structures of the Roleax Learning Center in Lausanne
in: Concrete Engineering International; Autumn 2009; S. 32


Äußerst flache Schalen, in bauwelt, 42/2008, S. 34
Walking on the moon, in: Mark - Another Architecture, No 26, S. 95-104
Die Bibliothek als Hügelllandschaft, in: Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 13.02.2010, S. 55
Rolex Learning Center Lausanne (CH) SANAA, in: de Architect 70 , mei 2010, S. 54-59, S.
Learning Center Features Open Design, in: Civil Engineering, May 2010, S. 20
Rolex Learning Center in Lausanne, in: Detail 5/2010, S. 470-478
Een geslaagd compromis, in: AWM 33, april/mei 2010, S. 114-119
Campus mit Teppichlandschaft, in: Bauwelt 13/2010, S. 14-23
Bodenwellen, in: Learning Center EPFL; Tec 21 2010/26; Verlags-AG; S. 23
Eine Welle zum Surfen - Rolex Learning Center, Lausanne, in: DBZ, 7/2010, S. 16-21


Architekturbiennale Sao Paulo
, 08.11.2011 - 04.12.2011

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