University building in France – Nantes School of Architecture

  • 1 / 4

    Nantes School of Architecture view of the west façade from Place des Érables.

  • 2 / 4

    The school’s perceptual periphery is blurred by the polycarbonate façade suggesting that the school is not restricted to the site it stands on, but includes the spaces and views surrounding it.

  • 3 / 4

    Generosity of space is a fundamental design principle espoused by the architects, providing its users with comfortable, adaptable, and multi-functional spaces.

  • 4 / 4

    The façade’s polycarbonate panels capture solar heat gain and minimize heat loss between the interior, programmed spaces and the exterior.

The holistic approach of Lacaton & Vassal Architects to the social, economic, and environmental performance of the Nantes School of Architecture culminates in the production of extra space at no additional cost. The Nantes School of Architecture represents a fundamentally different way of conceptualizing low-cost architecture, in which a minimal budget translates into maximum space.

Last updated: March 11, 2014 Nantes, France

By optimizing construction processes, the architects more than doubled the project’s usable surface area, from 12,500 to 26,000 square meters. The embedded potential of these additional, non-programmed spaces engenders new dynamics both within the school and between the school and its immediate context.

The Nantes School of Architecture is the first program to be installed in the space – but the scheme’s anticipation of change suggests that what is now a university campus could easily adapt to an altogether different use. As an architectural school, the building will make a long-lasting and influential impression on future generations of architects who will go on to broadcast its sustainable values both nationally and internationally.

Read book announcement: The sustainability of appropriated space – Nantes School of Architecture »