The Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) is widely acknowledged as one of the finest universities founded anywhere in the world over the last 50 years. This reputation attracts top students from across the globe to Lausanne, with the campus situated to the west of the city center. As a result, the EPFL is one of the fastest-growing universities with space requirements to match. In the required new buildings and refurbishments, the institution places a consistent emphasis on iconic constructions in order to also develop the architectural charisma it needs to prevail in the globally competitive university sector. The extension of the existing Institute for Mechanical Engineering (ME) designed by Dominique Perrault, which was merged with the Centre for Neuroprosthetics (CNP) founded in 2008, is the latest evidence of this. The Pôle de bio-ingénierie owes its unique appearance to a three-dimensional zig-zag façade consisting of 630 horizontally sliding solar protection elements made of metallic fabric from GKD – Gebr. Kufferath AG. Their lively topography reflects the flexibility and dynamism with which the university is constantly reinventing itself.
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