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The school of excellence has unveiled an impressive new campus, designed by students for students.


The school of excellence has unveiled an impressive new campus, designed by students for students.

Category: Europe - Switzerland - Careers - Recruitment / Job / Training
Article written by Sylvie Leroy on 2022-07-13

The day of July 8th 2022 will remain in the minds of all those invited to the inauguration of the new campus of the EHL BusinessHospitalitySchool in Lausanne: students, alumni, staff, partners, political personalities, and even neighbours, all sharing the same affection for the school in Lausanne...

A great deal of emotion was felt on this Friday, both at the unveiling of the impressive and successful changes and additions made to the campus and also in light of the work accomplished by the students and teams over the past ten years to create a modern school, adapted to the expectations of the students and attentive to climate and environmental issues.

In the presence of the President of the Swiss Confederation, Mr Ignazio Cassis, and the Mayor of the City of Lausanne, Mr Grégoire Junod, the ceremony was marked by speeches which showed the attachment of each of them to EHL, a world reference in education. The guests then gathered outside, at the entrance of the new campus, around the symbolic EHL tree, an 80 year old Saskatoon tree, surrounded, for the inaugural act, by large ribbons on which appeared the 25,000 names and alumni of EHL. The political figures, the EHL representatives and the student representatives then pulled simultaneously on cords connected to these ribbons to inaugurate the new campus, an emotional moment for all.

This was followed by a giant campus-wide aperitif, served and prepared by the preparatory year students and the school's chefs. There were also "magic scenes" with artists on stilts, dances on the walls of the residences, sound and light shows and numerous concerts.

This inauguration is the culmination of a reflection that began ten years ago with the ambition to "create a holistic university village, open to the local community, favouring human interaction between students, professors and professionals, while offering an exceptional living environment in which it is good to study" but also "multicultural, open to the world, a world in perpetual movement, and respectful of the environment", as Mr. Michel Rochat, CEO of the EHL Group, points out, in his inaugural speech, continued: "a place of exchange, a place where it is good to live, study, work and be inspired. We wanted a nucleus for development and knowledge sharing. A place where the international can meet the local, a dynamic, forward-looking place, welcoming students of over 125 different nationalities! So we wanted a place where learning extends in an infused way, not only between students and faculty members, but also with the professional community."

In 2013, after the launch of a participatory production initiative, a call for proposals was issued to nine schools of architecture and landscape design, to participate in the reflection. More than 385 students from all over the world worked on the dossier. In return, one hundred proposals were sent in and 20 students and their professors were invited to Switzerland to meet with EHL students in order to discuss their expectations and ambitions for the new campus.

The result is an exceptional campus that immediately brings to mind the adage "A healthy mind in a healthy body":
- 80,000 m² (compared to 25,000 m² before)
- 12 food outlets (some of which are open to the public), including a new high-end brasserie and a vegan restaurant
- 25-metre swimming pool
- Wellness area with sauna and cold bath
- Multi-sports hall
- Petanque court
- Tennis court
- Beach volleyball court
- 2 sports studios
- Gymnasium
- 2 km of running track around the campus
- Almost 1,000 beds for students
- A new majestic entrance from the main road below
- A large new reception area surrounded by glass windows opening onto the shop, sports hall and course kitchens
- A bright atrium leading to the upper floors
- 250 bicycle parking spaces
- 30 charging points for electric cars
- And, of course, the school's institution, the "Ferme", which dates back to the mid-18th century. The Farm has a special place in the hearts of students and alumni as an emblematic place of fun and relaxation. The historic building has been fully restored and equipped with new modern facilities.

If this list of new infrastructures focuses on the living spaces more than on the classrooms, it is, for Michel Rochat, an obvious choice: "At EHL, our pedagogical approach resonates as much in the classroom as outside. We consider that the campus itself is a vector of learning and must encourage the development of valuable soft skills. Our students will be able to further enrich their academic experience, to develop personally and humanely, and this, in particular, thanks to the thirty or so student committees that will bring the place and the soul of EHL to life."

In addition to providing students with exceptional living conditions, the project has been carefully studied from an architectural point of view as part of EHL's ambitions of social responsibility.

The campus aims to encourage a sustainable lifestyle and provides a natural ecosystem: an organic orchard, 300 trees and 5,500 shrubs of local species, an educational garden of 2,500 m², allowing students to understand seasonality and the importance of short circuits, six beehives with more than 250,000 bees and more than 400 vines.

The campus is equipped with 44 geothermal probes and an innovative system for recovering heat from waste water to cover 80% of heating needs. 80% of the electricity is produced by renewable energy, including 3,500 m² of solar panels. EHL has already offset 58% of the carbon footprint of its campus construction and expects to have offset 100% by 2024.

Even the inauguration was designed to be carbon neutral and was certified as a "climate neutral event" by the consultancy firm, South Pole.

Mr Rochat emphasises that "This campus meets the best environmental standards. It allows us to demonstrate the coherence between what we teach and how we behave."

In conclusion, true to the values of hospitality and family, Mr Rochat reminds us that this campus "belongs to our students, our alumni, our industry, our employees and all our partners. It is the mirror of our industry, an industry that is open to the world and that likes to promote and share its values."

The total investment to achieve this formidable metamorphosis is 250 million Swiss francs.

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About the author

Sylvie Leroy, enthusiastic publisher since 1999
Her passion for luxury hospitality, "a score perfectly performed by a fantastic orchestra" as she often says, led Sylvie Leroy to build in 2004 Journal des Palaces the sole online daily news dedicated to luxury hospitality with news, jobs, directories and resources.

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