LEARNING CENTER

Education facility

Lausanne, Switzerland

2004

The Learning Center represents a new paradigm for the programmatically stale building typology of the library by combining the conventionally delineated categories of “work” and “play.” Half of the building is dedicated to cerebral activities such as reading and research and the other half to physical activities such as dining and fitness. The dual nature of the program is reinforced in the two-sided site, as well as the formal, spatial, and structural logic of the building. The two inclined building halves lean against one another, overlapping and interlocking at the circulation spine to form a single stable structure. The quiet half of the building contains collections, both printed and digital, a reading room and study carrels, and faces a picturesque view of Lake Geneva and the Alps to the south. The active half contains social and recreational spaces including a multipurpose hall, restaurant and bookshop and faces the gridded EPFL campus to the north. This hybrid experience is condensed into a Janusian moment of cross-programming where the building halves converge and exchange.

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