OMA has completed work on its first scientific building—Lab City for the CentraleSupélec research institute. Located in Paris Saclay, the Lab City engineering school will welcome its first students beginning next month and introduce a reconfigured sense of laboratory design in order to ensure greater flexibility.
Spearheaded by architects Ellen van Loon and Edouard Pervès, Lab City reflects an urban grid layout that comprises independent blocks of varying heights that house laboratories and classrooms. Rooftop terraces will also provide open workspaces for students as well. A translucent roof covers the school’s public areas—streets, terraces, and central square—to provide continuous daylighting. A main street diagonally intersects Laby City, serving as a public pathway that connects the volumes to the surrounding campus.
“The most exciting aspect of this project was to invent a new spatial concept for a globally leading engineering school, at a time when multiple scientific disciplines must vigorously mix and collaborate to remain competitive,” van Loon says.
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