Art School, University Campus Saint Denis, Paris (FR)

On the Saint Denis campus of the Paris 8 University, we conceived the new art school as an inclusive, sustainable and forward-looking place. The university consists of the north and south campus, connected by the bridge building with the university library.
Our design connects to the bridge building and supports the exchange between the two areas. An outdoor grandstand complements this transition from the north campus and opens onto a large forecourt. In its extension to the south, a landscape garden forms a new centre between the House of Research and the new entrance to Building A.

We planned the art school as a compact, efficient building and reduced the footprint as much as possible. The building consists of a plinth that forms the interface between the public streets, the outdoor areas of the south campus and the bridge building. On this plinth, the project develops a volumetry that responds to the plots of Building A and represents a new verticality, a new signal, a “lighthouse of the arts”.

The university is not simply a place of research and education. Above all, the university is a place of life. Teachers, students and staff spend a large part of their day in these spaces, which should be imagined as generous, open and surprising places.
In the plinth we have accommodated all the rooms that demand high ceilings and high acoustic requirements. The plinth extends over three levels: a basement consisting of two parts and having two independent cores; a ground floor facing the main forecourt and oriented towards Building A; and an upper floor that serves as an internal and external connection to the bridge building.
The second and third floors are dedicated to classrooms. These spaces revolve around a central courtyard where a grandstand provides a visual and physical connection between these two levels. The last two levels house studios and offices.

The base is solidly built due to the high acoustic requirements. The floors above consist of a lighter wooden structure. The façade is clad with vertical wooden slats that also serve as sun protection. Irregularly arranged open and closed areas as well as large glazed loggias and terraces give the façade a lively rhythm and offer unique views of the campus and the city of St. Denis.

Der Sockel ist aufgrund der hohen akustischen Anforderungen massiv gebaut. Die darüber liegenden Stockwerke bestehen aus einer leichteren Holzstruktur. Die Fassade ist mit vertikalen Holzlamellen verkleidet, die gleichzeitig als Sonnenschutz dienen. Unregelmäßig angeordnete offene und geschlossene Flächen sowie große verglaste Loggien und Terrassen verleihen der Fassade einen lebendigen Rhythmus und bieten einzigartige Ausblicke auf den Campus und die Stadt St. Denis.

Client: University Paris 8
Architecture: Dietrich | Untertrifaller
Competition: 2020, 3. prize
Area: 4,760 m²
Program: studios, classrooms

Statics: Sas Mizrahi, Garches /building services : Éléments, Paris / Acoustics: Altia, Paris / landscape: Sosson, Paris / renderings: Dietrich | Untertrifaller