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© Fernando Guerra FG+SG


ituated just outside a national park, 20 km south west of Paris, the new Institut des Sciences Moléculaires d’Orsay (ISMO) building is part of a new 600 hectare academic campus created on the Plateau de Saclay. The ‘urban campus’ is part of the Paris-Saclay project, a complex including higher education facilities run by University of Paris-Saclay, plus housing, offices and other services. The university, established in 2014, combines the science-based resources of several ‘grandes écoles’ along with three French universities – University of Versailles-Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, University of Évry-Val-d’Essonne, and


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University Paris-Sud, which includes the ISMO itself.


The concept for ISMO was established in 2010 as a fusion of three research laboratories with a focus on molecular physics and “physico-chemistry.” The building is now home to 170 workers including researchers, teacher-researchers, PhD students, and postdoctoral researchers. A multitude of architectural practices have been involved in the development of the campus. For the ISMO building, University Paris-Sud organised a design competition from which they shortlisted several firms. Dutch practice KAAN Architecten was selected as the winner, and


“It’s a very geometric backdrop to an organic front, being set in this undulating landscape” Kees Kaan, KAAN Architecten


ADF APRIL 2019


WWW.ARCHITECTSDATAFILE.CO.UK


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