French architect Anne Démians has been named the winner of a competition to renovate and expand the Paris Tech Higher School of Industrial Physics and Chemistry (ESPCI), the 120-year old Nobel School. The competition, which seeks to convert the university into a leading research center, garnered submissions from such designers as Rem Koolhaas and Renzo Piano. As part of a larger transformative campaign undertaken by the school, the ESPCI redesign aims to elevate the Ile de France area to a metropolis standing.
Read on after the break for more on the 176 million Euro proposal.
Centrally located within a cluster of Parisian research facilities, the ESPCI redesign aims to reinforce its prominent position on campus. To accomplish this, Démians maintained close communication with the Honorary Scientific Director of the ESPCI, Jacques Lewiner, throughout the design process.
The current layout of the university houses 560 students and consists of 17 laboratories, nine of which partner with other facilities during daily research for an integrated and collaborative approach. Due to the prestigious school’s age, deteriorating security and safety measures are paramount concerns, in addition to the ailing research facilities. To address this problem, Démians‘ proposal relies on a series of modular laboratories and study spaces to provide flexible research areas that can meet the school’s demands.
The design proposes 38,000 square-meters of new space to supplement the restructuring of the existing school. This will be dedicated largely to adaptable laboratories, occupying some 25,000 square meters, with the remaining 13,000 square-meters providing updated teaching spaces and communal areas to encourage communication. To enhance the school’s real estate, 12,000 square-meters of the site will be restored in a future recovery project to strengthen the connection between its various sectors. Similarly, the existing protected green space will be revitalized to further bolster the aesthetic update.
Executive ArchitectAnne Démians