Unveiled> OMA Designs an Academic Village Under a Single Roof in Suburban Paris

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Entrance to École Centrale from Metro Station (Courtesy OMA)

Entrance to École Centrale from Metro Station (Courtesy OMA)

OMA has won the design competition for the new École Centrale Engineering school in Saclay, France, a suburb of Paris. The final design calls for an enormous block composed of smaller buildings creating an open plan grid. According to OMA, the concept behind the design is a “lab city” where multiple events can take place while all being simultaneously observed.

Central Block Social Area (Courtesy OMA)

Central Block Social Area (Courtesy OMA)

A diagonal pathway cuts through the grid connecting the existing engineering school to a future metro station connecting to Paris. The entire school complex will be sheltered by a glass roof and encourage collaborative practices while still maintaining the structure and stability necessary for an engineering school. In the very center, rising above the surrounding campus, a smaller forum block will be built above the glass roof to act as an activity hub housing a gym, classrooms, and an administration center.

Overview of École Centrale (Courtesy OMA)

Overview of École Centrale (Courtesy OMA)

Central Diagonal Public Crossing (Courtesy OMA)

Central Diagonal Public Crossing (Courtesy OMA)

École Centrale Open Plan Grid (Courtesy OMA)

École Centrale Open Plan Grid (Courtesy OMA)

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