Special Façades to Help Embrace Culture
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Special Façades to Help Embrace Culture

Sorbonne Nouvelle University – Paris 3

Christian De Portzamparc

Special Façades to Help Embrace Culture
By Editorial Staff -
Simeon has participated in the project

Commissioned by the Ministère de l’Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche, this new Sorbonne campus opened in 2022 on more than 35,000 sq. m in the 12th arrondissement of Paris, southeast of the city. Enormous public investment was made available to create a new, permanent setting for Sorbonne Nouvelle University – Paris 3. The challenge was enormous, having to find innovative solutions in the wake of the dematerialization of teaching – in both the narrow and broad senses – in recent years. The redesign of the campus – and especially the faculties of Arts, Letters and Languages, and Humanities and Social Sciences – was awarded to Christian de Portzamparc’s architectural practice following a public competition. In response to the need to accommodate a large number of students, the architects built a total of 144 teaching spaces, including more traditional areas such as amphitheaters and classrooms, and more innovative areas, such as coworking spaces, sports areas and laboratories of various kinds. 
At the heart of this renewal of the image of the Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3 was the use of customized façades designed by Simeon, a company specializing in the integration of structure and envelope that won the contract following a public competition. 
A total of 17,000 sq. m of single and double skin cells cover the building, with the envelopes made directly in the company’s manufacturing facilities. Simeon was also responsible for the installation. 
On the elevations, the use of angled doors and windows, set in the plastered external insulation, alternates with the use of cellular façades framed by specially designed aluminum profiles. 
Through this new image, the University is trying to reaffirm its desire to contribute to the dissemination and promotion of knowledge, positioning itself as a place suited to both individual work and community life. In this spirit, the arrangement of the library space was particularly emblematic, symbolizing the new Sorbonne’s willingness to be open to society. The snow-white façades of the building, whose plan forms a triangle of flowing forms, join with the other wings of the campus to form a central cloister that is the true heart and hub of this new way of university life, where the library is accessible to both researchers and the public. 

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