The Vortex building will serve as Lausanne 2020's Athletes' Village ©Lausanne 2020

The official groundbreaking ceremony for the Lausanne 2020 Youth Olympic Village was held today in the Swiss city.

One hundred children from local schools, aged between nine and 10, attended as work on the key facility for the next edition of the Winter Youth Olympic Games began.

Known as "Vortex", the Village is a ring shaped building which has been described as an "architectural challenge".

It will include a single spiral-shaped ramp which will access all of the apartments.

Located within the University of Lausanne's campus, it will become student housing following its use at the Games in January of 2020.

This, organisers claim, will provide a legacy as higher education in the region will be boosted long after the sporting action is finished.

Vortex will be handed over to the university in the Autumn of 2020, when 1,000 students, professors and guests will be able to move in.

During the Games, it will be home to 1,700 athletes and officials.

Local authorities accelerated the construction of the facility after the city was awarded the Youth Olympic Games.

Patrick Baumann, the President of the Lausanne 2020 Organising Committee, was not present today as he is currently heading the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) Coordination Commission visit to 2024 Olympic and Paralympic bidder Paris.

The ring shaped building has been described as an architectural challenge ©Lausanne 2020
The ring shaped building has been described as an architectural challenge ©Lausanne 2020

"Vortex represents the best of what Olympic projects can do to a host city: help develop infrastructure that is very much needed and that can be used long after the Games," said the Swiss, also the President of the Global Association of International Sports Federations.

"Not only are we very grateful to the local partners that have managed to get together and bring this project to life, but we are also very proud to be such a good case study of a smart Olympic legacy."

Vortex will be built for CHF 156 million (£121 million/$157 million/€143 million) and will be financed by the State of Vaud's pension fund.

The children at today's ceremony all wore Olympic t-shirts.

Ian Logan, chief executive of the Lausanne 2020 Organising Committee, said: "This project is a true, practical application of Olympic Agenda 2020 and its three overarching themes of sustainability, credibility and youth. 

"This development shows that, when approached in the right way, a Games masterplan can make real sense for a host region. 

"To have such a good case study in the heart of the university campus for our next generation of students is wonderful - we couldn't dream of a better message to start our story."

Lausanne, the home of the IOC and various other sporting governing bodies, was awarded the 2020 Games in August 2015.

The city defeated Brasov in Romania by 71 votes to 10 at the IOC Session in Kuala Lumpur.