- Project Management : Christine Royer, Louise Balliet
- City : Grenoble
- Country : France
Text description provided by the architects. This site, chosen for the Grenoble campus in the early 1960s, was well outside the city, on a wooded terrain with a beautiful view of the mountains. Several emblematic university buildings were built in this privileged environment, some of which have since been listed as 20th-century heritage buildings for their architectural qualities, chiefly among which the use of concrete. Facing these buildings, remarkable from the point of view of their design, the Diderot restaurant honors this ensemble, enriching the architectural language of its surroundings by strengthening the dialog between the various projects on the site.
The building’s simple and easy-to-read architectural language is mostly transparent on the ground floor thanks to broad glazed bays, and on the floor above thanks to terraces, patios et and a bow window on the north side. It is a warm, welcoming, and lively place whose purpose and relevance for the program proposes a dining experience with permeability between the main axes of circulation and the surrounding green spaces.
The southern façade, a discreet screen treated qualitatively, contains the logistics courtyard. Treated as a green area enclosed by a concrete wall 2 meters in height conceals a service, parking, and unloading area with access to the technical areas. The fifth façade (roof) is comprised of a concrete enclosure wall covered with insulating materials to ensure visual and acoustical protection from the mechanical noise of the technical equipment.
Durable materials. The areas open to the public are comprised of raw concrete façades, wooden slat screens, without the need of upkeep over time, punctuated with elements made of Corten steel, and large glazed bays. These materials are skillfully implemented to ensure durability and minimal upkeep.
The quality working environment for staff. Two patios were placed at the center of a vast cube to provide everyone with working areas and stairwells flooded with natural light.
Cost control: a simple volume with optimized upper levels. To ensure optimal cost control of works, the ceiling height is limited, with light brought in through patios, light wells, terraces, and glazed bays. Low-cost yet durable materials are used in compliance with the program.