Coldefy & Associés designs a 42,000 sq m mixed-educational building in the heart of a new quarter
A metaphor for creativity right before it blossoms, The Blank Page expresses the project’s intentions: to bring together and present the future Design Institute’s multi-disciplinarity and objectives. In concrete, glass and steel, its radical, light and transparent architecture encourages reflection on the combination of multiple and opposite situations: introversion and extroversion, modesty and exposition, exclusivity and publicity, micro and macro city, classicism and experimentation.
Each functional element, first decomposed, merges, interpenetrates or isolates itself and allows the project to be immediately read from the exterior. The building base, a giant urban lounge, encourages meeting and exchange, making use of interior and exterior green spaces and views of the scenery. The podium, whose gentle slope rises 7m above King Ling Road, was conceived as a landscaped extrusion of the ground, directly connected to the urban environment over two levels, both a common space and outer gallery. Open, sheltered by the upper platform, it can accommodate many events.
Covered in white silk-screened glass, the pristine and minimal volume of the 'aerial city' platform floats above the towers. It brings the library, school administration, and different community areas together. Its landscaped roof is accessible for special events. The towers are the soul of the Institute, its structure and its vertical distribution. They express the diversity and specificity of the disciplines represented in the Design Institute. The entire composition created by interpenetration between the interlinked elements defines the Institute as a timeless building, and reveals its objectives of synergy, a state-of-the art school, publicity and interactivity. It is bound to become an important symbol within the city.