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Student Residence Maison de l’Inde

Lipsky + Rollet Architectes

Student Residence Maison de l’Inde
By Caterina Testa -

Founded in 1920, the university campus of Paris - La Cité Internationale Universitaire - is made up of residences for students from all over the world. From 1925 to 1969 some 40 residences and other buildings - now considered historic monuments - were built on this 34-hectare plot in the southern reaches of the capital. The most prestigious architects of the day were involved. Le Corbusier designed the Fondation Suisse and the Brazil House, Dudok undertook the Dutch residence while Claude Parent created the Iran building. Not only do the many architectural styles sitting cheek by jowl in the huge grounds exemplify the wealth of architecture produced during the 20 century; they also testify to a wider educational and political project - expressed by, but going beyond architecture - of bringing together different cultures.
The Cité Internationale is now undergoing a new phase of densification. Among the most recent buildings is the second India House designed by Lipsky + Rollet Architectes. Compact, environmentally sustainable and delivered to a tight timeframe, the new student hostel resonates with its context, providing a contemporary lifestyle unit whose residents become effortlessly part of the wider university community.
The new dorm lies between the older India House and the Brazil Residence. Positioned vis-à-vis the former so as to create an enclosed garden that links the two residences, it also dialogues with the nearby Le Corbusier building, this time in style: built on stilts, the ground floor void echoes the permeability of the older building, as do the deeply recessed, carefully oriented terraces of the student rooms.
Circulation routes and interior space distribution meet the dual yet contrasting demands of its occupants: for privacy, but at the same time the need of students far from home to feel a sense of belonging. Accordingly, each floor has 11 individual rooms and a communal kitchen grouped around the...

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