The Lieu de vie campus hub at the University of Paris-Saclay was opened in January 2016 and formally handed over to the university on May 31, 2016. Designed by architects Gilles Delalex, Yves Moreau and Thomas Wessel-Cessieux from Muoto architects, the LafargeHolcim Awards Silver winner for Europe merges economic and aesthetic considerations, and turns the limitation of low-cost construction into one of the building’s great strengths.
Conceived as a minimal structure using rough materials, robust and long lasting techniques, the 2,000 square-meter “urban shelf” is organized using the idea of “vertical diversity”. Different activities are superimposed upon one another including a 1,000-seat student cafeteria, fitness and weights rooms, a lively terrace, all crowned with a panoramic sportsground on the roof that is used for football and basketball games.
Large windows allow the building to be opened up to create public space, and a thoroughfare on the ground floor encourages easy access and the flow of people throughout this social hub of university life. After decades of planning the University of Paris-Saclay campus is now open. Dubbed the “French Silicon Valley”, the ambitious new site on the outskirts of Paris brings together 19 higher education institutions.
Project author Gilles Delalex (left) presented his building concept at a Pecha Kucha night on the University of Paris-Saclay campus in November 2014.See more
A multipurpose building to house indoor and outdoor sports facilities, cafés, street terraces and a pedestrian square is taking shape on the new university campus of Paris-Saclay. Designed by architects Gilles Delalex, Yves Moreau and Thomas Wessel-Cessieux from Muoto architects, the Lieu de vie hub building is a low-cost structure that remains highly adaptable to changes to its function and use on the campus in the future. The building is scheduled for completion in March 2016.
Construction of the ambitious University of Paris-Saclay campus after decades of planning will bring together a group of 19 higher education institutions on the outskirts of Paris. Dubbed the “French Silicon Valley”, the campus became operational for the start of the academic year in September 2015.
During a visit at Studio Muoto in Paris, Gilles Delalex updated the Foundation on the status of his project, and received a certificate to commemorate that Public Condenser was among the 15 finalist projects that vied for the Global Awards in 2015.See more
The architects of Muoto designed a recreation center to link a number of universities on the evolving campus of Paris-Saclay. The building is an “urban shelf” that stacks a variety of flexible-use spaces on top of one another.
The Lieu de vie by Muoto Architectes occupies a strategic point between the planned new building of the École Centrale Paris and the planned Metro station. Because it is to function as a hub of the growing campus, the architects of Muoto designed it as a free-standing building with no discernible front or back. It can be entered from all directions, and all entry points are connected via open passageways on the ground floor. The building is designed as a compact box, but the structure, with fine concrete beams, seems light – and thanks to the large glazed areas and a minimum of interior partitions, the whole is quite transparent.
Project author Gilles Delalex explains the concept: “Usually in architecture we work the other way around, developing everything from the program: One visualizes the space and gives it a name. But why do we have to assign a specific function when a room can be anything? Everybody needs space – and if you give it to them they will find a way to use it. We want to leave the use up to the users!”
As one of the three main Holcim Awards winners for Europe in 2014, “Public Condenser” automatically qualified as a finalist in the Global Holcim Awards 2015. All 15 finalist project teams were asked to submit an updated and more comprehensive entry that was evaluated by a global jury in March 2015.
The results of the global phase of the 4th Holcim Awards competition were announced on April 20, 2015.
The winners of the global phase of the 4th International Holcim Awards competition will be revealed on April 20, 2015. The results will be announced via the Holcim Awards website.
The USD 2 million Holcim Awards is the most significant international competition for sustainable design. The jury composed of renowned specialists from around the world and headed by Mohsen Mostafavi, Dean of the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University (USA) will evaluate 15 projects out of more than 6,000 submissions. The finalists are the winners of the Holcim Awards Gold, Silver, and Bronze Awards 2014 in each of the five competition regions of the world.
The finalist projects competing for one of the three Global Holcim Awards prizes are located in Austria, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, France, Italy, Lebanon, Mexico, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkey, and the USA and were entered by authors from these countries as well as from Germany, the Netherlands, and Spain. They reflect a broad variety of the current interpretation of sustainable construction combined with architectural excellence and enhanced quality of life beyond technical intervention.
The submissions will be evaluated by the Global Holcim Awards 2015 jury including Marc Angélil, Senior Dean of Architecture and Urban Design at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich, Switzerland), Alejandro Aravena, Principal of Elemental (Chile), Maria Atkinson, Founding Director of the Australian Green Building Council (Australia), Meisa Batayneh Maani, Principal of maisam architects and engineers (Jordan), Yolanda Kakabadse, President of WWF International (Ecuador), Mohsen Mostafavi, Dean of the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University (USA), Matthias Schuler, Principal of Transsolar(Germany), and Rolf Soiron, Chairman of the Board of the Holcim Foundation (Switzerland).
The winners of the global prizes will share prize money of USD 350,000. Previous winners of the tri-annual Global Holcim Awards include Bureau EAST (Los Angeles, USA), Centola + Associati (Salerno, Italy), Coelacanth and Associates (Tokyo, Japan), Ingenhoven und Partner Architekten (Dusseldorf, Germany), Kéré Architecture (Berlin, Germany), L’OEUF (Montreal, Canada), Public Architecture (San Francisco, USA), Proyectos Arqui5 (Caracas, Venezuela), realities:united (Berlin, Germany), Tsinghua University (Beijing, China), and Urban-Think Tank (São Paulo, Brazil).
About the Holcim Foundation and Holcim
The Swiss-based Holcim Foundation promotes and illustrates the strength of diverse strategies of achieving greater sustainability of the built environment. As part of its approach, the Foundation publishes booklets on outstanding examples of applied sustainable construction. The initiatives of the Holcim Foundation include the USD 2 million Holcim Awards – the most significant international competition for sustainable design.
Since it was established in 2003, the Foundation has been supported by Holcim in more than 70 countries worldwide and is independent of commercial interests. Holcim is one of the world’s leading suppliers of cement and aggregates (crushed stone, gravel and sand) as well as further activities such as ready-mix concrete and asphalt, including services.See more
Architect Gilles Delalex of Muoto, France explains the key sustainability aspect of his prize-winning project, and the team’s motivation for entering the Holcim Awards competition: as sustainable as possible using the minimum amount of materials necessary. “Public Condenser - Low-cost flexible university building, Paris, France” won the Holcim Awards Silver and was praised by the jury for its minimal deployment of architectural and technical means, considered a remarkable contribution to sustainable construction.
A building that will host a mix of activities including indoor and outdoor sports facilities, cafés, street terraces and a pedestrian square on the new university campus of Paris-Saclay received the Holcim Awards Silver. Gilles Delalex, Yves Moreau and Thomas Wessel-Cessieux from Muoto architects (France) have designed a minimal structure that uses rough materials, robust and long-lasting techniques, and vertical stacking to superimpose different activities above one another.
The jury acknowledged the minimal deployment of architectural and technical means that is resilient and adaptable to future needs: “The elegant design merges economic and aesthetic considerations in such a way that the low-cost structure turns limitation into a quality”.Read full media release – Holcim Awards 2014 for Europe »
The project’s minimal deployment of architectural and technical means was considered a remarkable contribution to sustainable construction by the members of the jury. The elegant design merges economic and aesthetic considerations – a low-cost structure turning a limitation into a quality. The proposed scheme offers a robust framework that is adaptable to future needs – a form of resilient architecture, both in view of its management of resources as well as formal appearance.
The project is a public facility, situated on the new university campus of Paris-Saclay, France which aims to become a top international hub in the innovation economy. The building hosts a mix of activities including indoor and outdoor sports facilities, a restaurant, cafeteria, and various public spaces: a pedestrian square, street terraces, and parking areas for deliveries, bikes and cars. Conceived as a minimal structure using rough materials, robust and long lasting techniques, the building is organized vertically with its different activities superimposed on one another, using the roof as a panoramic playground for football and basketball games.
The different areas are linked by an open staircase allowing for independent accesses. A place to live, taking the form of an urban shelf, accessible to all campus visitors, day or night.
This mixed-use shared facility on the Paris-Saclay university campus encourages the interaction and encountering of various populations who live in close proximity to one another, but rarely interact. With a total capacity of more than 1,100 concurrent users, the restaurant, cafeteria and sports facilities are made accessible to students, company employees, teachers, and researchers. It aims at creating a meeting point for everyone by mixing activities that are usually separate.
The project design minimizes the volume of materials used in construction, as well as taking maintenance and long-term reliability into account. Technology is used minimally to provide a place that will endure, without the need for complicated maintenance. A specific insulation technique called “reversed slab” allows the building to reach high levels of thermal performances (French BBC certification), while leaving the structure visible, devoid of cladding.
The project is publicly funded and in response to the low construction budget, detailing has been kept to a minimum. This economical approach has allowed for the inclusion of a generous public square in the construction budget, ensuring a planted pedestrian connection with the existing academic buildings adjacent to the site.
The vertical configuration of the building provides a minimal footprint. Users can ascend the monumental staircase situated inside the building to discover the surrounding agricultural landscape where they reach the 900-square-meter rooftop playground. The staircase is a continuous public space that connects the layering of independent programs.
The indoor spaces benefit from the most flexible configurations, thanks to a “deep plan” and glazed angles in all rooms allowing far and open views outside. Using sliding doors on the façade offers natural ventilation during the summer while large textile shades provide sun protection.
The different areas are linked by an open staircase allowing for independent accesses. A place to live, taking the form of an urban shelf, accessible to all campus visitors, day or night.Download project overview (PDF, 2.03 MB) »See more
The LafargeHolcim Awards are unusual because they recognise projects at the concept stage, before the project is built …
A building that will host a mix of activities including indoor and outdoor sports facilities, cafés, street terraces and …
Architect Gilles Delalex of Muoto, France explains the key sustainability aspect of his prize-winning project, and the …
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