Arquitectura Viva
Thursday, August 22, 2019
07/09/2017

OMA, Lab City de la École Centrale Paris in Gif-sur-Yvette (France)

 
Located on the outskirts of the French capital, the École Centrale Paris is one of the oldest and most prestigious engineering schools in the country. Within an internal restructuring program, the school called a competition in 2012 to build a new school in the Parisian suburb of Saclay. Under the concept of ‘Lab City,’ the project departs from the typical plan for research and education buildings, designed as linear structures divided by endless corridors because of the restrictive isolation conditions required for laboratories. Instead of huge and extremely isolated facilities, the project divides the program into departments and distributes them in the small parcels of an open plan grid, like a city with streets and buildings of friendly scale. This model guarantees independence between the parts, favoring flexibility in the long run. The urban scale is thus transferred to the campus, with a main street cutting diagonally across the Lab City, providing a convenient public route between the campus and the subway station, from which secondary streets branch out. A lightweight and translucid EFTE roof covers the entire complex and creates a strong link between the different buildings.
The Swerve

The Swerve

Luis Fernández-Galiano
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