Descartes University lecture theaters



    Université Paris Descartes

  • YEAR

    2008 – 2014




    Demolition and reconstruction of two amphitheatres

    and classrooms

    Two lecture theatres (400 sits) 906 m²


    Grégoire Zündel, Irina Cristea

    Competition – 

    Developement –

    Construction – Fabien Bargue, Bertrand Suvelier, Sabine Wildrath


    Structural engineer – Batiserf

    MEP – Louis Choulet

    Quantity surveyor – Bureau Michel Forgue

    Façade – VS-A

    Acoustics – Altia

    Fire Safety Consultant – Batiss

    Building Code Consultant – BTP Consultants

    Safety Code Consultant – VERITAS



    Structural works – Ziliani

    Wood siding – Salmon

    Interior carpentry – Alma Entreprise

    Exterior carpentry – Broyez

    HVAC and plumbing – UTB


This project which includes the construction of two 200-seats lecture halls and teaching spaces, was an opportunity to realize a successful transformation of a city block court. It reveals an urban place which users, residents, visitors or passers appropriate; and meets the requirements of coherence and simplicity, between functional and aesthetic sense. The urban court, addressed the 143, avenue de Versailles in the 16th district and belonging to the University Paris Descartes, was seen as a crowded space, resulting from an accumulation of buildings and shrines on top of a parking floor occupying the whole court. The challenge of its transformation lay in the ability to turn it into a functional desirable space. The compact and minimalist definition of the new building, the simplicity of its design, the level of finish and the choice of materials, aim to strengthen the own identity in the heart of Parisian block, with an image reminiscent of workshop-barns. The architecture, reflected by maximum optimization, responds to structural, regulatory and economic constraints. To minimize the impact on the infrastructure of the existing parking, we had to make a slight elevation in volume. The construction system with metal standardized elements, allows the crossing large spans and some feats of the superstructure. To the south, the top of the amphitheater is cantilevered over the ground floor spaces, which gives free spaces for classrooms and offices. In order to control the costs of the operation and specific facilities, but also to go the way of the constraints imposed by the site, we made accessible and walk-all open to the public areas by grouping them into ground floor. Conversely, all the technical installations rooms are housed at the top, under the roof and made invisible and inaccessible to the public. This distribution frees up precious space on the ground floor, to make it transparent and continuous with the deck.