Rolex Learning Centre

Iwan Baan

Built on the campus of Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), The Rolex Learning Centre functions as a laboratory for learning, a library, and an international cultural hub for EPFL, open to both students and the public.

The striking, minimalist building was designed by internationally renowned Japanese architecture firm SANAA. The building spans a single, uninterrupted space of 20,000 m², providing a seamless array of services, libraries, information centres, discussion areas, study areas, restaurants, cafes, and beautiful outdoor spaces.

Its innovative architecture comprises gentle slopes and terraces that undulate around a series of internal patios, as well as nearly invisible supports for its curved roof, which entails entirely new construction methods.

What makes this project particularly interesting from a visual perspective, is the wonderfully minimal compositions at the hands of Iwan Baan. The Dutch photographer is known primarily for images that narrate the life and interactions that occur within architecture. With no formal training in architecture, his perspective mirrors the questions and perspectives of the everyday individuals who give meaning and context to the architecture and spaces that surround us, and this artistic approach has given matters of architecture an approachable and accessible voice. His work for the Rolex Learning Centre is testament to this.

In the shop