Made of six buildings closely connected by flying bridges, the METRO center, named for its location close to transportation from central Paris, incorporates teaching facilities, research labs, social spaces, restaurants, offices, logistical areas, and car parks. The complex will house over 4,500 people, with 3,300 students and 1,300 research faculty members on the METRO site (at 74,000 square meters). more
This public-private partnership, or PPP, resulted from a competition process involving three of Europe’s largest construction firms and associated architectural teams: Bernard Tschumi et al with Bouygues Construction, Herzog and de Meuron with Vinci Construction, and MVRDV with Eiffage. The competition lasted two and a half years, with precise client requests including a complex program and tight cost-control and energy-saving requirements.
The architectural concept of the METRO site, coordinated by Bernard Tschumi Architects, consists of a chain of six separate but interlinked buildings that act as an interior street, a common denominator, and a social space for the whole complex, joining together three different scientific disciplines.
Facing north, a fully glazed building opens onto the main axis of the site and acts as the heart of the complex. It includes social spaces and auditoria, a small museum, administration, and applied research facilities. To the east are research laboratories; to the west lie teaching facilities and the southern access-point of the site.
All facades opening to the north and all connecting bridges are fully glazed, while the south, east, and west facades are made of high-quality white precast-concrete panels with fins. (METRO will be the office's first white building!)
The scale of the different parts of the complex varies depending on their functions and their locations on the site. For example, the glazed facades on the main campus axis are 25 meters high (approximately 82 feet) and incorporate six levels, but the volumes located near small existing constructions have been designed with three levels each.
The project was developed simultaneously in both of Bernard Tschumi’s offices: BTA in New York (Joel Rutten, co-director) and BTuA in Paris (Véronique Descharrières, partner and co-director). Groupe-6 was charged with the interior organization of the research component, a major part of the complex.
Education, Public Buildings, Master Plan
Preliminary Design: 2015
Competition Winner: 2018
1,000,000 sq. ft. (88,000 sq. m.) for the whole site including 800,000 sq. ft. (74,000 sq. m.) for the METRO site and 160,000 sq. ft. (14,000 sq. m.) for the IDEEV site
283 M Euros
350 M USD
University Paris-Sud / Paris Saclay
Consortium led by Bouygues Construction
Architects: Bernard Tschumi urbanistes Architectes (BTuA: Bernard Tschumi, Véronique Descharrières) and Bernard Tschumi Architects (BTA New York: Bernard Tschumi, Joel Rutten)
Groupe-6 for the research spaces of the METRO site
Baumschlager Eberle (BE) for the IDEEV site.
Lead Designer: Bernard Tschumi
Key Personnel (competition):
New York Team: Joel Rutten (project architect), Cecil Barnes, Sebastian Cilloniz, Karen Berberyan, Christopher Ball, Jerome Haferd, Chris Lee, Nate Oppenheimer, Nianlai Zhong, Pedro Camara, Pierre-Yves Kuhn, Clement Laurencio, Fiona Caselli, Ruoxi Yang
Paris Team: Véronique Descharrières (partner), Rémy Cointet (project architect), Vincent Prunier, Emmanuel Desmazières, Thomas Sanson, Florence Festa, Valentina Garreton
Engineers: Bouygues Construction
All images © BTuA/BTA/Luxigon except where indicated