Bernard Tschumi Team Wins Competition for University Research Complex in Paris
Bernard Tschumi Architects has been awarded one of the largest university commissions in France, with the design and build of a €283 million ($350 million) state-of-the-art educations and research center at the Université Paris-Sud in Saclay, just south of the French capital. The “METRO Center” will form part of the biology, pharmacy and chemistry wing of the university, comprising six buildings connected by flying bridges, featuring teaching facilities, research labs, offices, restaurants, and logistics areas.
The architects’ vision for was for a chain of six separate but interlinked buildings forming “an interior street, a common denominator, and a social space for the whole complex,” thus connecting the three disciplines of chemistry, biology, and pharmacy. A glazed north-facing façade reveals the heart of the complex, featuring social spaces, auditoria, a small museum, administration, and research facilities.
All north facing facades and connecting bridges are glazed to take advantage of soft natural light while the east and west facades, behind which lie research and teaching facilities, comprise of high-quality white precast concrete panels with fins. The massing of the six individual buildings varies depending on function and location, from six-level main campus buildings to three-level support buildings near existing constructions.
In total, the scheme will cover 1,000,000 square feet (88,000 square meters), and will host 4,500 people including 3,300 students and 1,300 staff, positioning the Université Paris-Sud as France’s largest research and education complex.
The scheme is expected to be completed in April 2022, allowing for 12 months of design development, and 36 months of construction.