An ambitious restructuration project for the Research Unit of the Paris Desscartes University on the Necker Faculty of Medicine site.
The rehabilitation project for the Descartes University research unit consists in housing within the same building several multidisciplinary activities that tend to a common goal.
From an architectural perspective, the rehabilitation focuses on the rehabilitation of a building designed by André Wogenscky, which will most likely be listed as XXth century heritage building.
Therefore our greatest concern was to achieve a clear understanding of André Wogenscky's architectural vision : he did not define architecture with materials, but with the organization of form and contour in space.
In order to work on the history of the building, the design team enlisted Gilles Ragot, art and architecture historian , who had worked with none other than André Wogenscky to develop a Fund which would concentrate on his lifetime architectural achievements.
The main characteristic of the ensemble is its situation at the heart of a block. One has to enter through a passageway at 156 Rue de Vaugirard, in order to discover the university. The building is a rectangle, which is defined by the inner workings and organisation of 9 levels and a superstructure which is revealed to the visitor as a full height monumental gabled curtain wall . The construction lies upon a base comprising two lower levels, dedicated to classes and common functions. This base is also the entrance plaza. In order to bring light deep into the base, A.Wogenscky astutely cut out rectangular patios, placed at irregular intervals.
Our team is intent on remaining true to the building's original architectural statement, (1966) while aiming at adapting it to more contemporary demands, technically, functionnally and aesthetically. In order to do so, we have chosen to center our work on the following items.
Development of the following stages :
• Asbestos removal for the affected buildings.
• Dismantling the building down to the core structure.
• New layout design, compliant with fire safety codes in high rise builldings.
• Reorganisation of vertical distribution.
• Facade recomposition, inner layout, building technique and laboratory equipment.
• In this context the building's outer aspect is to be updated to meet current energy efficiency norms, which along with targeted architectural interventions will considerably increase its value.
• Improvement of the entrance access.
• Reinterpretation of the south elevation, as it becomes the new « face » of the Rue de Vaugirard.
The appearance of a construction built in what is called the classical modern style will not be modified, however it will be reinforced and reinterpreted using contemporary means.