Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa of Sanaa architectural firm, designed Rolex Learning Center winning the international contest dated 2004- The completion was in may 2010.
A library built for 20.000 volumes, a meeting room, a book shop, some offices, an auditorium, a bar, some isolated rooms for study and some commercial spaces. This is what Rolex Learning Center contains, a functional mix typical also of many other architectures.
But what makes Rolex Learning Center so unique is the common space that links together all those activities. It is one collective space and all the different activities are divided thanks to the mutations of floors. In this way, common spaces don’t fulfill their simple function but become public spaces where students of the Polytechnic School of Losanna and other users of the building can take a break, lay down, arrange in a group and also sleep.
Sustainability in the Rolex learning center
From an energetic point of view, the Rolex learning center is a perfect architecture, contrary to what some might think. The internal part is well isolated with different layers in the covering base and in the floor, while the vertical closures are totally made of a double glass with an air chamber in the middle. The internal space is the heart of this building and the Japanese architects worked skillfully on the changes of slope, creating open spaces that reflect the inner ones.
The final result is an architecture that alternate empty and full spaces, transparencies and opacities in a sensational way, letting experience to whoever enter this building an architectural promenade. We can say that Rolex Learning Center is one of the most successful architecture of SANAA.
All photographs ©Luca Onniboni – (do whatever you want, reminding us)
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