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A showcase of knowledge

Nick Myall
Friday 07 Apr 2017

An educational establishment with an international reputation now occupies the corner of Boulevard Jourdan and Rue de la Tombe-Issoire in the south of Paris

Designed by Thierry Van de Wyngaert and Véronique Fiegel, the Jourdan Campus for higher education and research unites the Ecole Normale Supérieure and the Paris School of Economics. 

Spread over 12,500 sq m, located opposite the Cité Universitaire and the Dutch Residential College designed by Willem Marinus Dudok in 1928, the Campus buildings redevelop the Paris periphery in the wake of the tramway. 

Thierry Van de Wyngaert and Véronique Feigel designed a bar that folds, sways and rises to better integrate into its site.

Each entity - the ENS as well as the PSE - benefits from its own wing. Both are physically separated by a crevasse marked by a succession of generous terraces and the central sculptural staircase visible from outside which connects them. A central axis - the Ernests jetty - connects the reception lobbies of each school. 

The building has been raised to give total transparency on the ground floor. The main entrance through the fully glazed reception lobby, located at the corner of Boulevard Jourdan, serves the common areas of the two institutions - the library on the first basement level, the cafeteria and the 300-seat amphitheatre. 

The first two floors join classrooms and meeting rooms for the Master I and II programmes. Research offices of both schools occupy the upper floors. Large vertical manually adjustable brise-soleils - polished stainless steel on one side, larch wood on the other - protect full-height floor to ceiling windows, provide thermal comfort and - according to their orientation - give a vibration to the facade. 

Exterior spaces are designed as a planted agora that follows the topography of the site. The original central garden has been preserved. A converted courtyard has been excavated to give daylight and a view to the library. The architects developed a project with steep wetland gardens. The succession of filtering micro-terraces creates a smooth transition between the central garden and the library below.

From the architects

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Education
Architecture
France

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