• Previous project
  • Next project
  • Back to overview
© FG+SG fotografie de architectura
© FG+SG fotografie de architectura
One of the most noted buildings of recent ­years sports an undulating roof and curved courtyards of varying sizes: the Rolex Learning Center by Japan’s SANAA. Now, on the campus’s northwest corner, a further striking “building block” has opened. This one demonstrates the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne’s position as top university research facility and ­decisively expands upon its offerings: the new conference building accommodates up to 3000 people.

Its facets nearly as sharp as a diamond’s, the SwissTech Convention Center, with impressively cantilevering roof toward the south, at first appears to be a solitaire. But in combination with the neighbouring block – which houses a shopping centre, restaurants, a 70-room hotel and a residence for 516 students – it is part of the energetic ensemble envisioned in the 2006 competition design also authored by Richter Dahl Rocha & Associés.

While the conference centre is clad in a building envelope of anodised aluminium reminiscent of scale armour, the aluminium panels sheathing the student lodging are deliberately techno, yet still invitingly domestic. In conjunction with the metro station, which has been erected right in front of the foyer, the building becomes the new gate to the entire university campus. (Frank Kaltenbach)