At a time when information technologies are transforming the intellectual landscape by eliminating physical boundaries between men and between disciplines, our duty, as a cutting-edge academic institution, is to offer students an appropriate learning platform that adapts to this unprecedented technological evolution. We had to imagine a place where students benefit from the best access to current systems of knowledge as well as its possible forms in the future, but also a place that stimulates the most vigorous and passionate whirlwinds of ideas, without which neither science nor art would exist in this world. We were thus not afraid to imagine a paradoxical space where the ever fascinating serenity of a library and the colorful noise of a central square cohabite – a tension lending itself to the propagation of knowledge. In dreaming about content, we also dreamt about identity. The rolex Learning center would only take on its full meaning if it were to become both the new heart of EPFL – a veritable center that has always been missing – and a unifying element for the city and the nearby university. How can any of us, whether researchers, students, or citizens, live without the cross-fertilization of influences, ideas, information, and cultures that allow for, since the beginning of time, the most fertile debates and the most beautiful discoveries?
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