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BLOCK architectes : L'ÉTOILE

L'ÉTOILE (Espaces et Technologies Ouverts for Innovation in Laboratories and Enterprises), designed by the BLOCK agency in Nantes, aims to connect researchers and students from the Mines-Télécom Institute (IMT) D'Évry Val de Seine with young entrepreneurs.

BLOCK architects has here imagined a built-up complex mixing various architectural expressions, with a faceted mineral base on the one hand and an imposing parallelepipedal signal building overlooking it, resting on this first in the south and on ten columns in the north . The different metallic claddings of these two volumes - grid at the bottom, mesh above - evoke pixelization and thus echo the world of scientific imagery and computer science.

This 3 932 square meter building houses, in the lower part, an amphitheater hosting conferences and seminars, and the Echangeur, gallery / showroom presenting the works of students or speakers and various common spaces. The upper part of the assembly houses a Fab Lab and parts specifically designed for research.

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The relationship between outside and inside is very important for designers. The different surfaces are thus articulated around an internal street crossing the whole construction from north to south. A central garden is also set up, bringing natural light to the adjoining rooms, allowing students and researchers to enjoy green spaces and a terrace to relax.

With this construction, IMT wants to move closer to the teaching model proposed by its anagram, the famous Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which combines work and research areas and a conference center capable of hosting this world. Through its massiveness, ÉTOILE is also in line with the great architectural achievements of the city of Évry, such as the Cathedral of the Resurrection realized by Marion Botta in 1995, or the Khánh-Anh pagoda of Phong Luu Tran (2016).

A place that has nothing to envy the great American universities forming the great scientists of tomorrow.

Photographs: Philippe Pirron

To learn more, visit The site of BLOCK

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