ECAL is located in Renens, in the heart of the Lausanne agglomeration. With a population of more than 20,000, Renens is the capital of the West Lausanne district and one of the most important cities in the canton of Vaud. 

Until the end of the 19th century, Renens was only an agricultural village. It was then transformed into a real industrial city, thanks in particular to the railway. At the end of the 20th century, however, the factories gave way to tertiary-type activities. Thus, under the impetus of its former director, Pierre Keller, the ECAL took up residence in the former Iril pantyhose factory, renovated in 2007 by the architect Bernard Tschumi.

The building offers the ECAL a surface area of almost 19,000 m2 and contains, in addition to classrooms and open spaces, three large auditoriums, a film studio, a recording and mixing studio, a photographic studio, a model workshop, an exhibition gallery (elac), a specialised library, a material library, a printing centre with a printing press and lithography, serigraphy and engraving workshops, as well as a technology centre.

Still in the building, but outside the ECAL itself, there is also the 2,000 m2 EPFL+ECAL Lab, a teaching and research unit of the EPFL (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne), with which the ECAL regularly collaborates.

The ECAL is open from 7am to 9pm from Monday to Friday. It is closed on Saturdays, Sundays, public holidays and during the academic holidays. Access to the school is only possible with a student card.

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