Villanova: a magical place for creativity and collaboration

Villanova: a magical place for creativity and collaboration


As soon as you walk through the door of the Villanova, you immediately perceive its singular nature. Built over three floors and nestled in a green setting, the building is home to the Entrepreneurship and Innovation HUB team. A unique meeting point for activities, programs and community members, it offers a new experience on campus. So much so, in fact, that it has become known as "The Magic of Villanova...".

What's all the fuss about?

Firstly, the new building is a magnificent feat of engineering by UNIBAT, the architects and various trades. The spirit of the place is palpable and omnipresent.

Villanova was born of a collaborative approach. Discussions between the HUB and UNIBAT began in 2019, at the very time of the HUB's launch, enabling us to anticipate and define users' needs. Workshop, co-working space, the initial specifications already encompassed the fundamental elements that the architects skilfully extracted from a somewhat dilapidated functional building, the existence of which few of us knew. What a transformation, what mastery in bringing out the new from the old, in total harmony with the needs of the future occupants!

The finishes, imbued with minimalism, invite experimentation. Raw concrete, imposing wooden beams, materials left bare: the air is imbued with unfinished potential, leaving plenty of room for individual interpretation and creative enterprise. The very essence of the Villanova, so named by UNICOM, is that of future-oriented creativity. In this still, the HUB is able to fulfill its mission: to support the entrepreneurial spirit and give birth to innovative ideas with impact.

The space, harmoniously integrated into the natural environment, is set between earth and sky. With its floor-to-ceiling windows and two completely open floors, the Villanova is a genuine space for exchange and collaboration. It's here that idea-formers, whether researchers, students, alumni or collaborators, converge in a single program to explore and bring their ideas to life. And that's how projects get off the ground...

Its neutral location on campus also encourages inclusion and interdisciplinarity. It is impossible to associate the Villanova with a specific faculty. The Villanova is a hub of interdisciplinarity, ready to welcome members of all seven faculties. Here, we find ourselves in a space that is both "other" and "different", allowing us to change parameters and reference points.

Finally, the architecture has preserved the intimacy of what used to be a residential house. Thanks to its human proportions, its kitchen and relaxation area, and its colorful chairs, you'll quickly feel at home in the Atelier or UCreate space. Its size means it can accommodate 50 participants on each floor for interactive workshops, while cultivating a sense of belonging to a group. In this "protected space", you can explore new ideas, cultivate your curiosity, have doubts, make mistakes and then find your way again. Bonds are forged, teams solidify, projects progress, a community is born.

However, the magic of this place cannot be mentioned without mentioning its residents. Project leaders, change agents, HUB team, community members, visitors, thank you for the energy you bring to Villanova. It's thanks to you that it pulsates with vitality and bubbles with creativity.

Welcome to Villanova!

Anne Headon, Director of UNIL's Entrepreneurship and Innovation HUB