OMA has completed ‘lab city’ for the CentraleSupélec research institute in paris, the international architecture firm’s first scientific building. led by OMA’s ellen van loon and edouard pervès, the project was completed on budget and on schedule to open to students in september 2017. 

OMA lab city centrale supelec
the labs act as a collection of ‘discrete parcels’ in an open plan grid
image by philippe ruault, courtesy of OMA (also main image)

 

 

OMA’s design approach for ‘lab city’ was inspired by the concept of an ‘urban grid’ wherein independent blocks housing laboratories and classrooms are placed under a structural skeleton. OMA reimagines the laboratories as a ‘collection of discrete parcels in an open plan grid’, thus creating a ‘city’ within the confines of the science center. the method allows for greater flexibility and reconfigurations of programs which promotes community, plurality and diversity within the scientific community.

OMA lab city centrale supelec
the open plan grid allows for greater flexibility of program
image by philippe ruault, courtesy of OMA

 

 

as the blocks increase in height, the roof terraces and open workspaces provide students with open views of the internal atrium. the large transparent roof covers public areas of the school, allowing daylight to enter freely within the interior city space. the urban campus is intersected by a diagonal street, which extends the public route connecting the university with the surrounding campus.

OMA lab city centrale supelec
as the discrete blocks increase in height, open terraces allow users to have views of the atrium
image by philippe ruault, courtesy of OMA 

 

 

‘the most exciting aspect of this project was to invent a new spatial concept for a globally leading engineering school, at a time when multiple scientific disciplines must vigorously mix and collaborate to remain competitive,’ says ellen van loon, OMA’s partner-in-charge.

OMA lab city centrale supelec
floating walkways create a dynamic circulation experience
image by vitor oliveira, courtesy of OMA

 

 

CentraleSupélec was formed in 2015 after merging with école centrale paris. as one of the most prestigious french ‘grandes écoles’ specialized in engineering, the project holds an important role for the development of the new tech district of ‘joliot-curie’, whose masterplan was designed by OMA and will place the university alongside research institutes and major tech companies.

OMA lab city centrale supelec
the terraces are enclosed by a structural skeleton
image by vitor oliveira, courtesy of OMA

OMA lab city centrale supelec
stairwells provide flexible movement among areas of study
image by vitor oliveira, courtesy of OMA

OMA lab city centrale supelec
the transparent ceiling allows daylight to enter the building freely
image by philippe ruault, courtesy of OMA

OMA lab city centrale supelec
the center will be open for students starting the academic year in september
image by philippe ruault, courtesy of OMA

OMA lab city centrale supelec
the masterplan for the technology district was also designed by OMA
image by philippe ruault, courtesy of OMA

OMA lab city centrale supelec
the center is built next to major tech companies and research centers in paris
image by vitor oliveira, courtesy of OMA

 

 

 

project info:

 

name: lab city CentraleSupélec, saclay, france
project: lab city CentraleSupélec
status: complete
client: CentraleSupélec
location: plateau de saclay – gif-sur-yvette, france
program: education, total 48,700 sqm, including 9,000 sqm offices, 2,500 sqm restaurant, 1,500 sqm library and 10,500 sqm parking space
partner in charge: ellen van loon, rem koolhaas

 

ESQ phase
project leaders: clément blanchet, edouard pervès
project team: fred awty, felicity cardoso, maria aller rey, gabriella bandeira, eugenio cardoso, alban denic, cristina martin de juan, pedro pitarch alonso, ana rubin, saul smeding, alicia casals, phil handley, helena hiriart, li huang, didzis jaunzems, sang woo kim, ida stople, pierre-jean le maitre

 

design development phase
project leaders: clément blanchet, edouard pervès, saskia simon
project team: pedro pitarch alonso, anton anikeev, tolis apostolidis, gabriella bandeira, lourdes carretero botran, jonathan bourhis, matthieu boustany, paloma bule, eugenio cardoso, alban denic, gilles guyot, christopher hayman, aleksandar joksimovic, cristina martin de juan, min hong khor, sangwoo kim, lina kwon, pierre-jean le maitre, elida mosquera martinez, ioana mititelu, edmondo occhipinti, john paul pacelli, marcus parviainen, maria aller rey, ana rubin, kristin schaefer, jad semaan, timur shabaev, saul smeding, lingxiao zhang

 

construction phase
project leaders: clément blanchet, edouard pervès
project team: mauro altana, joanna fregnac, glaucia hanne, cristina martin de juan, iris maass, pierre-jean le maitre, vitor oliveira, saskia simon

 

collaborators
landscape: d’ici là
engineers: bollinge r+ grohmann, ALTO ingénierie, royal haskoning DHV
consultants: brian cody, APEX, DAL, DUCKS, cuisine et concept, polygraphik

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