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OMA: Lab City Paris

The architects of the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) completed Lab City for the campus of the CentraleSupélec research institute in Paris-Saclay in the fall, 2017. This is the first university building to be designed by the firm of architects of Pritzker Architecture Prizewinner Rem Koolhaas. In time for the beginning of the semester, Lab City, which consists of a whole complex of buildings, opened its doors to students. Under the project management of OMA architect Ellen van Loon, the design focused on the encouragement of interdisciplinary cooperation among students of the elite university for engineers and scientists. To achieve this, the layout and linkage of the facilities has been derived from the urban space – the goal was to create a vibrant university area that meets the differing needs of students, scientists and lecturers. The multifaceted uni lab is not linearly structured, but is distributed among a cluster of smaller individual buildings. The spaces between them are spanned by transparent roofs, so Lab City is flooded with daylight. This is where the open work areas are located as communal spaces linking, for example, a semicircular lecture theatre with the refectory. These are supplemented by roof terraces and balconies – creativity and scientific curiosity are fostered by the opportunity to work with a view.

Last Update 10 December 2018