Henning Larsen has been selected among 40 international architecture firms to design NEOMA’s new French Business School, in Reims, France. The Danish firm's hybrid timber design combines innovation, environmental consciousness, and a focus on student life, setting to accommodate over 4,000 students across a 26,000 sqm campus. Construction is expected to start in spring of 2023, and is scheduled to be open for the start of the 2025 academic year. Along with Henning Larsen, the winning team includes Patriarche, Egis, Elioth, Etamine, Acoustb, and Creafactory.
Located towards the west of the center of Reims, the site chosen for the new NEOMA school is part of Port Colbert, a neighborhood currently being redeveloped. The site is a former industrial site and partially abandoned, which is why the city officials want to revive it. Port Colbert was previously a district full of the city industries: Reims breweries and cast-iron workshops among others. The objective of the city of Reims and the project is to convert this sector, while preserving and enhancing what shapes the historical identity and industrial heritage of this place.
The new NEOMA campus opens towards the canal and parks around it, offering views of bustling student life, and inviting passersby with its central wooden structure and stepped green landscape. The school will feature 85 classrooms, three amphitheaters, and an event space with a 750-seat auditorium accessible from the outside. In line with the school’s strong commitments in terms of sustainable development, the site aims to acquire internationally recognized certifications such as LEED, WELL and E+C, placing the health and well-being of students and staff at the center of its design.
This project offers several advantages, especially a strong visual identity which will make the campus clearly recognizable. It combines very strong identifying elements, for example the large hall which places the student at the heart of the building. We also favored the use of wood and glass to promote a friendly atmosphere and flood the area with light. Several easy-to-access green spaces are planned for both the inside and outside of the campus. -- Delphine Manceau, Dean of NEOMA Business School
Earlier this month, Henning Larsen revealed the design for World of Volvo, an experience center for the Swedish car manufacturer that highlights the Scandinavian landscape and architectural traditions. Currently under construction, the project features a circular timber structure that takes on a modern approach to traditional construction material, while expressing openness and an intimate relationship with the landscape.