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EHL inaugurates new campus in Lausanne – designed by students, for students

students studying

After five years of construction and 250 million Swiss francs invested, EHL unveils a brand new campus in Lausanne. The jewel of sustainable and eco-certified architecture aims to create a holistic university village that is open to the local community, encourages interactions between students, professors and professionals, while offering an exceptional living environment to study.

Designed by students, for students

Following a call for proposals in 2013, more than 385 students from nine schools of architecture and landscape design around the world submitted their ideas for the design of the campus. From the 100 proposals received, 20 students and their professors were selected and invited to Switzerland to meet EHL students and learn about their expectations and aspirations for the new campus.

The result? A revamped campus with 80,000m2 of grounds, expanded from 25,000m2 previously, nearly 1,000 beds to accommodate students on site and 12 food outlets that are open to the public including a new high-end brasserie and a vegan restaurant. True to the adage “a healthy mind in a healthy body,” the campus offers first-rate sports facilities such as a 25-meter swimming pool, a wellness area with a sauna and a cold bath, a multipurpose sports hall, petanque, tennis and beach volleyball courts, and 2km of running track around the school.

“Many are surprised to learn that the new campus infrastructure is primarily focused on living spaces and not on classrooms per se. Yet, at EHL, our pedagogical approach is applicable both inside and outside the classroom. We believe that the campus is a vehicle for learning and should encourage the development of valuable soft skills. Our students will be able to further enrich their university experience and develop personally and humanity – this, in particular, is thanks to the thirty or so student committees that will bring the campus and the soul of EHL to life,” comments Prof. Michel Rochat, CEO of EHL Group.

Sustainability at the heart of new campus

In line with EHL’s corporate social responsibility goals, the new campus encourages sustainable living. It offers a natural ecosystem with an organic orchard, with approximately 300 trees and 5,500 shrubs of local species planted, and a 2,500m2 educational garden,  which allows students to understand the notion of seasonality and the importance of supporting local and regional produce through short food supply chains. The garden is also home to more than 250,000 bees housed in six hives and has more than 400 grapevines. In compliance with the Minergie-P© standards, the campus is equipped with 44 geothermal probes and an innovative wastewater heat recovery system to cover 80% of the university’s heating needs. The campus is also equipped with solar panels covering an area equivalent to three Olympic-sized swimming pools. EHL has already offset 58% of its carbon emissions from construction works and expects to fully offset carbon emissions by 2024.

A festive and carbon neutral inauguration

The inauguration of the campus took place on July 8, 2022, in the presence of former students, neighbors from the town of Epalinges, personalities close to EHL and numerous political figures including the President of the Swiss Confederation, Mr. Ignazio Cassis, and the Mayor of the City of Lausanne, Mr. Grégoire Junod. Highlights included many “magical” moments, notably a presentation by other Lausanne academic institutions: the Haute Ecole de Musique (HEMU) and La Manufacture. Ending on a high note, the inauguration was lauded for its carbon neutrality, certified by the “climate neutral event” label from the consulting firm South Pole.

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