Finnish practice ALA Architects has won the competition to design the new Learning Center of Université Lumière Lyon II in France. The project will be the second major library building by the office behind the recently opened Helsinki Central Library Oodi, and it will be ALA's first French commission. The building will replace the existing library and showcase sustainable construction alongside new teaching and study methods.
The competition launched in January 2018 was organized as an invited competition between four teams. The design work commenced in February 2019 right after the conclusion of the negotiation phase. The new building on the University’s Porte des Alpes campus will be approximately 12,000 m2 in size and will be built in two phases. The learning center will house library functions, as well as teaching and study facilities, meeting rooms, workshop space, exhibition space and a cafe. In addition to the campus’ 16,000-people-strong academic community, the building is also design for local residents.
The library was divided into two distinct floors and a mezzanine level. The enclosed pedestal contains the café, event facilities, archival space and working facilities. The glass-walled library level on top was made to visually link the building to the surrounding landscape and physically to the central square of the campus. The mezzanine includes one larger and three smaller lofted areas hovering above the library level with reading and study spaces.
The overall project budget is 39 million Euros. Funding will be provided by the university, the Auvergne Rhône-Alpes region, the Lyon metropole area, and the French Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation. ALA submitted their proposal with French collaborators Nicolas Favet Architectes, Mayot & Toussaint, Guadriplus Groupe, Theatre Projects Consultants and Olivier Tacheau.
Construction is slated to start at the end of 2019.