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Buro Happold team wins Paris university building contract

Consultant Buro Happold is part of a team that has won a contract to design a 15,000m² scientific research centre in Paris, that will feature a mirrored facade to reflect the nearby Notre Dame Cathedral.

Architects Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and Off, consultant Michel Forgue and environmental engineer Franck Boutte are also on the team. The multidisciplinary research centre for Sorbonne’s Université Pierre et Marie Curie will be called Paris Parc.

The design team proposed what it called a “three-dimensional envelope” design. “Wedged into a super dense context – in terms of space, public flows and architectural history – the Parc is conceived as a chain of reactions to the various external and internal forces acting upon it,” said BIG founder Bjarke Ingels.

He said the façade of the building was precisely shaped to reflect views of the Paris skyline. “The iconic view of the Notre Dame Cathedral is brought into the daily life of the building through the large panoramic windows,” he said. “While the façade towards the entrance square is slightly tilted, hence, a mirrored image of the Cathedral becomes visible at eye level on the square, connecting the building to its iconic location.”

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