PRINT March 2015


SANAA, Rolex Learning Center, 2010, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland. Photo: Iwan Baan.

IN 2010, Japanese architects Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa, cofounders of SANAA, completed one of their most ambitious projects to date: the Rolex Learning Center on the Lausanne, Switzerland, campus of the École Polytechnique Fédérale. Housing a complex mix of experimental research and educational facilities, the center comprises a single undulating story of over two hundred thousand square feet, expanding effortlessly across the site and appearing less a building than an animated field declaring a new direction in architecture. That same year, Sejima and Nishizawa were recognized with their profession’s highest honor, the Pritzker Architecture Prize, and not surprisingly, the Lausanne project captured the world’s attention almost immediately. In recognition of its extraordinary spatial qualities, the critic Jay Merrick proclaimed in the Independent that the structure’s

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