grafton architects completes university building in paris

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designed by grafton architects, this university building in paris references the great educational campuses of oxford, cambridge, and harvard, with their lawns, quadrangles, cloisters, and courtyards. in order to give the building a strong presence that addressed the adjacent public square, the architects explain that they compressed the structure’s core uses into a compact form that treads lightly on the ground.

grafton architects university building paris
image © philippe ruault (also main image)

 

 

designed for l’institut mines télécom, télécom paristech, and télécom sud-paris, the university building is organized around six spaces: five courtyards and an outdoor quadrangle. ‘the sixth space is that of the generous quadrangle, with ‘real ground’ in which we can make a new landscape, a large ‘garden room’,’ says grafton architects, the firm led by yvonne farrell and shelley mcnamara. ‘the community of scholars, professors, and directors circulate around this rich series of interlocking, overlapping halls, courts and spaces.’

grafton architects university building paris
image © philippe ruault

 

 

the quadrangle is surrounded by various research offices, doctorates rooms, and directors offices, which hover above a more fluid series of spaces at ground level. grafton architects won the competition to build the project in 2013, with the project completed in 2019. in 2018, yvonne farrell and shelley mcnamara curated the venice architecture biennale with the duo both awarded the pritzker prize in 2020. see designboom’s ongoing coverage of grafton’s work here.

grafton architects university building paris
image © philippe ruault

grafton architects university building paris
image © philippe ruault

grafton architects articulates university building in paris around large 'garden room'
image © dennis gilbert

grafton architects articulates university building in paris around large 'garden room'
image © philippe ruault

grafton architects articulates university building in paris around large 'garden room'
lot axonometrics (click for larger version) | image © grafton architects

grafton architects articulates university building in paris around large 'garden room'
second floor plan (click for larger version) | image © grafton architects

grafton architects articulates university building in paris around large 'garden room'
section (click for larger version) | image © grafton architects

 

 

project info:

 

name: institut mines-télécom, paris-saclay
location: palaiseau, paris, france
architect: grafton architects
client: l’institut mines télécom, télécom paristech, and télécom sud-paris
size: 46,200 sqm (497,293 sqf)
date: 2013 (competition)
status: completion 2019
environmental certification: HQE

 

collaborators —
local architect: vigneu zilio architectes
structural engineer: OTEIS
civil/ thermal/ M&E/ HVAC/ fire: OTEIS
landscape studio: atelier MOABI
quantity surveyor: alayrac
environmental engineer: chapman BDSP
environmental certification: green affair
acoustic engineer: gamba
kitchen consultant: EFC
signage: locomotion

philip stevens I designboom

mar 25, 2021



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