OMA wins Ecole Centrale work
Practice beats competition with “lab city” concept
OMA has won a competition to design the Ecole Centrale engineering school in Saclay near Paris.
The practice beat three competitors to the job after producing the concept of a “lab city” for the school and its surrounding area.
OMA’s design is a low-level glass-roofed block containing an open plan grid, which the practice said is designed to encourage collaboration while providing the conditions necessary for teaching.
A diagonal main street passes through the grid with a metro station planned at one end and the existing engineering school at the other.
Classrooms, an administration centre and a gym are contained within a platform in the centre of the grid.
Clement Blanchet, director of OMA projects in France, said: “The design integrates urbanism with the school, supplanting the homogenous experience of the campus. It’s an attempt to define the actual esthetic of science.”