Text description provided by the architects. On the eastern edge of the site, student housing and commercial and service areas provide a clear border on the public plaza. Extending to the south to include the Metro station, shops and restaurants are sheltered by a covered gallery with the hotel and student lodgings above. The large scale of the building is mediated through a series of articulations and variations in height of the different volumes that make up the complex. Only the central bodies of the building are carried up to level eight at the top. The outer facades clad in serigraphed glass and aluminium louvers maintain a clear dialogue with the convention center, the coloured window jambs anticipate the exuberance of the inner courtyard.
Commercial and service areas open directly onto the public plaza on level two. A 70-room hotel surrounds the south courtyard, and shared student apartments are reached through access galleries around the north courtyard on level four. On level six are shared apartments around the north courtyard, and studio apartments in the southeast wing of the building. Only three wings of student apartments are carried up to level eight.
The shared apartments are arranged around the access galleries. Semi-private living spaces in turn lead to the individual bedrooms, each with it’s own private bathroom. All the bedrooms are located on the outer perimeter, with the living spaces opening directly onto the access galleries surrounding the courtyard. This interior courtyard elevation is entirely clad in individually hand painted, fibre-cement panels transformed by artist Catherine Bolle into : « Le Chromoscope ».
Studio apartments are arranged on both sides of the long interior north-south corridor running through the main wing of the building. To encourage social interaction among students, a variety of common spaces have been laid out at various points along this main internal thoroughfare. Double- or single-height spaces are closed off with brilliantly coloured glass panels, continuing the polychromatic theme of Catherine Bolle’s Le Chromoscope surounding the courtyards in the access galleries.