Did you know that students have always had the opportunity to sleep on the Lausanne campus? Since the school’s founding in 1893, student accomodations have always been made available on the EHL campus.
Hospitality History back in 1893
The school created in 1893 by Jacques Tschumi was originally located within the Hôtel d’Angleterre in the Ouchy neighborhood of Lausanne. The first 27 students were urged to sleep on the school’s premises during their semester. But they were no ordinary guests… they had to do chores and keep the establishment spic and span! They attended theory classes while practicing their new skills at this renowned institution.
In 1904, the Société Suisse des Hôteliers purchased a magnificent domain located on the Avenue de Cour called the Domaine des Figuiers. Formerly a boarding school for girls, the organization set up its hospitality management school there. However, after 10 years in existence, the school, which could welcome just 34 students, was already a resounding success and space was quickly running out.
Figure 2: Photograph of the first class of students to study at the Avenue de Cour location in 1904-1905. EHL Archives, Fonds audiovisuel, Photographies de classe : Photographie de classe semestre d'hiver 1904-1905, CH-000963-7 AV-PH-BA-1905-2-1-1, 1905.
Reflecting its ongoing success, the school underwent a renovation to expand its capacity to 50 students in 1911.
Figure 3: Photograph from the Domaine des Figuiers and the addition built in 1911. EHL Archives, Fonds audiovisuel, Bâtiments : Cour et annexe du bâtiment de l'Avenue de Cour, CH-000963-7 AV-PH-BB-SD-3-1, S.D.
Again in 1928, the campus at Avenue de Cour expanded its dormitories by 20 students, enlarging capacity from 60 to 80 beds.
Figure 4: Photograph of the Avenue de Cour dormitories built in 1928. EHL Archives, Fonds audiovisuel, Bâtiments : Cour, jardin et bâtiment de l'Avenue de Cour, CH-000963-7 AV-PH-BC-1928-3-5, 1928.
Until the 1960s, the school continued to expand and its student body increased as well. In 1965, it was decided to double the capacity of the current facilities. At the end of the overhaul, the school could welcome 600 students with half doing an off-campus internship.
The school, with its 300 on-campus students, was quickly getting cramped and finding a homestay in Lausanne was no easy task.
Figure 5: Aerial view of Avenue de Cour, ca. 1960 EHL Archives, Fonds audiovisuel, Bâtiments : Vue aérienne de l'Avenue de Cour, CH-000963-7 AV-PH-BG-SD-3-1, S.D.
On-campus students are rising: the move to Chalet-à-Gobet
At long last, the decision was made in 1972 to leave the Avenue de Cour site because of the lack of space. In 1975, the new school ushered in its first ever student intake at Chalet-à-Gobet. Over 150 studios were built. The complex, renamed Le Reposoir, could house around 180 of the school’s 677 students.
These housing units were quickly filled and some 62 requests for housing were added to the waiting list! Then in 1977, just two years of the first-ever intake, the school looked to expand its on-campus housing.
Figure 6:Special edition of La Marmite, about the first intake at Chalet-à-Gobet, December 1975. EHL Archives, Fonds administratif EHL – Fondation, La Marmite n°31, Arch.Rev.Mar 027, décembre 1975.
New campus 2022 : more than a bed
In 1992, a new construction project to build new studios for students. Capacity went from 203 studios to 285. The campus continued to expand and in 2017 it was decided to create an entirely new campus. Inaugurated last July, the campus totals nearly 80,000m2 and offers about 850 beds for students.
Campus experience - Living together is what being a family is all about
Since the school’s founding, students have always been able to enjoy an enriching campus experience. At first, it was seen as a practical necessity, but student housing is one aspect that sets EHL apart from other Swiss schools. Indeed, sharing a room, sharing the ups and downs of student life, learning together and making friends for a lifetime is an incredibly valuable experience.
Isn’t that what we’re seeking when we join a community? Isn’t that what we call being a ‘family’? Something as simple as living on campus, to be closer to one’s classes to take just one advantage, can be seen as an essential experience in the development of a community.
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