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Ecublens, Switzerland

EPFL Learning Center

University library shaped like a giant piece of Swiss cheese. 

From up in the air, Rolex Learning Center looks like a giant slice of Emmentaler cheese, placed on the banks of Lake Geneva. Its design is no doubt a play on the clichés associated with building’s home country.

This unusual building is the centerpiece of the campus of École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), a renowned Swiss university. EPFL is one of two federal technical universities in Switzerland and is the second largest in the country.

The Learning Center is the newest addition to EPFL’s campus. The building is intended to serve as a campus hub and a central library. The main collection consists of over 500,000 printed works, including one of the largest scientific collections in Europe.

The building was designed by Japanese architects Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa, partners of the Tokyo-based SANAA studio.

The building was partially financed by donations from Rolex, Nestle, Novartis, and other Swiss companies.

The Learning Center opened on February 22, 2010.

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