On the initiative of the Alumni Association and their president at the time, Jean-Aimé Baumann, Cité Universitaire de Genève was built to make up for the lack of student accommodation and to offer students the experience of communal living in an environment that helps them to succeed in their studies. The project received financial support from both private and public investors. Since it opened on 24 November 1963, Cité Universitaire has continued to fulfil its role in providing accommodation to students. Today, we welcome over 850 students from all over the world, representing 95 different nationalities.
Located in Champel, Cité Universitaire currently has four buildings. Buildings A and B were built first, in 1963, and contain single rooms and studios. Building C was built in 1986 and is made up of apartments that hold up to four people. Finally, building D was completed in 2013 and offers rooms in shared apartments, studios and private apartments.
The complex has many different facilities that make residents feel at home, encourage them to mix with one another and connect Cité to the outside world. As well as a spacious garden, there is also a café and a pizzeria, a theatre (Cité Bleue), card-operated laundry facilities, a convenience store, sports facilities managed by the University’s sports department (multisports hall, tennis courts and a weights room), a dark room and a function room (Arcade 46).
The owner and manager of Cité Universitaire is the Fondation de la Cité Universitaire de Genève, which was founded on 1 July 1954 and is an institution under Swiss private law. It is a non-profit organisation and its objectives are mentioned in articles 3 and 5 of its articles of association:
The purpose of the Foundation is to :
1. study the creation and development of University accommodation by carrying out all the surveys and studies deemed necessary;
2. build and maintain a University accommodation;
3. run the accommodation;
The Foundation is a non-profit organisation.
The Foundation's funds shall be used to acquire, build and manage properties in order to achieve the Foundation’s goals.
The Foundation’s governing body is the Foundation Board, which is organised as follows (Art. 7 of the articles of association):
The governing body of the Foundation is the Foundation Board, which comprises 13 members and is organised as follows:
a) the Rector of the University, who is an ex-officio member;
b) six members freely appointed by the State Council;
c) two members appointed by the Executive Council of the City of Geneva;
d) two members appointed by the State Council on the Rector’s recommendation;
e) a representative for the Cité Universitaire residents appointed by the Foundation Board;
f) a student appointed by the University Assembly.
At least eight of the thirteen board members must have a university degree or a qualification that is deemed equivalent. The Foundation has a three-year contract (2020–2023) with the State of Geneva’s “Département du territoire” and receives financial compensation for its work. The Foundation was given the plot of land and the surface rights to build Cité Universitaire by the State of Geneva.
Issue 12 of the magazine "Uni information" (1970)
Special 20 year : Cité Universitaire of Geneva 1963 - 1983
Cité Universitaire was founded on the initiative of the Alumni Association and their president at the time, Jean-Aimé Baumann, who wanted to fulfil a wish of the General Students Association. The project received financial support from both private and public investors, and Cité Universitaire opened in November 1963.
Buildings A and B were built by architects E. Martin and L. Payot according to the founders’ designs, and building C was built by Ed. ZurKich. Building A is a 14-storey building with around 200 single rooms for students. Building B has seven floors and offers 32 studios for couples, some bedrooms for children and over 120 single rooms for students. Building C offers apartments with three, four or five rooms and can accommodate up to 130 people, including around ten children. Finally, building D, which was built in 2013, has 246 rooms in shared apartments, 15 studios and 4 family-sized apartments.
Cité Universitaire has several common areas for recreational and cultural activities. The buildings are connected by a self-service restaurant and communal spaces. The complex also houses the Cité Bleue Theatre (formerly the Simon Patiño hall). It can hold up to 330 people, and it has a 300m² exhibition hall. Cité Universitaire is built on a 2-hectare plot of land that belongs to the State of Geneva, which granted Cité Universitaire surface rights to the plot for 99 years.
Private donations helped to finance the construction of buildings A and B. The Patiño foundation made a sizeable donation to finance the construction of the Cité Bleue Theatre, as it has been known since 1996.
Solar panels: 21 March 2001
As part of our commitment to sustainable development, we installed a solar-powered water-preheating system in buildings A and B in spring 2001.
By limiting air pollution, we have significantly reduced our consumption of non-renewable energy (gas heating).
Mobility Car Sharing Switzerland: June 2006
- Mobility offers 2,500 vehicles at 1,250 locations across Switzerland.
- There is a Mobility site at Cité Universitaire. It is located opposite the line 3 bus stop. Enter “1206” into the “Location” fieldFind out more
- Website: http://www.mobility.ch.
Sorting waste / recycling: September 2009
- On each floor of each building, we provide containers for sorting the following materials: glass, aluminium and sheet metal, plastic and paper.
- Batteries are collected at reception.
- The materials mentioned above must not be disposed of in the kitchen bins.
- Finally, compost, such as peelings and other organic waste, can be disposed of in the green bin behind building A.
Lighting in common areas: 2008 and 2010
- December 2008: installation of motion and twilight sensors in front of the lifts in building A.
- August 2010: as part of the SIG-éco21 programme (http://www.eco21.ch) we changed our emergency lights in buildings A, B and C, as well as in the basements of buildings A and B and in front of the lifts in building B.
Thermal insulation of buildings A and B: 2010
- Summer 2010: as part of the renovation of the container structure (exterior glass under the windows) of buildings A and B, the Foundation decided to replace the existing insulation with rock mineral wool.
utumn 2010 and winter 2010–2011: the stairwell in building A was completely renovated, and the single glazing was replaced with double glazing, which provides better insulation for the building as a whole.
Cité Universitaire is home to the Cité Bleue Theatre, which puts on a range of productions throughout the year. As a resident, you will receive a 50% discount if you show your ticket at reception.
The space can be rented for shows, conferences and film screenings.
From summer 2021, the Cité Bleue Theatre will be undergoing renovation work for around 18 months.
To visit the Cité Bleue Theatre website (in French), please click the following link: www.citebleue.ch
Building new student accommodation
Summary of recent history :
19.04.2011 : building project begins
15.06.2011 : call for bids from general contracting companies
05.07.2011 : association des riverains du chemin Tavan signs an agreement with Cité Universitaire de Genève
21.07.2011 : replies to the general contracting companies' questions
22.08.2011 : Grisoni-Zaugg start landscaping
23.09.2011 : deadline for the submission of offers from general contracting companies
27.09.2011 : opening of offers from general contracting companies
28.09.2011 : acceptance of the first phase of the landscaping work (Grisoni-Zaugg)
13.10.2011 : examination of general contracting companies
20.10.2011 : project awarded to Implenia
07.12.2011 : public meeting between FRAR and Implenia at Cité Bleue Theatre
29.02.2012 : installation of the building site sign
08.03.2012 : geotechnical survey on Chemin Edouard-Tavan
12.03.2012 : renovation of the changing room roof
19.03.2012 : start of the major work (Grisoni-Zaugg set up))
27.04.2012: first foundation stone is laid
08.04.2013: tree is planted to represent the end of the major work
01.09.2013: Building D opens