OMA has won the design competition for the new École Centrale Engineering school in Saclay, France, a suburb of Paris. The final design calls for an enormous block composed of smaller buildings creating an open plan grid. According to OMA, the concept behind the design is a “lab city” where multiple events can take place while all being simultaneously observed.
Central Block Social Area (Courtesy OMA)
A diagonal pathway cuts through the grid connecting the existing engineering school to a future metro station connecting to Paris. The entire school complex will be sheltered by a glass roof and encourage collaborative practices while still maintaining the structure and stability necessary for an engineering school. In the very center, rising above the surrounding campus, a smaller forum block will be built above the glass roof to act as an activity hub housing a gym, classrooms, and an administration center.Overview of École Centrale (Courtesy OMA) Central Diagonal Public Crossing (Courtesy OMA) École Centrale Open Plan Grid (Courtesy OMA)