NEOMA Business School
A campus in a rapidly changing neighbourhood that combines educational, digital and architectural innovation. The health and well-being of students is at the heart of the project.
The Reims campus is a new stage in the development dynamic undertaken by NEOMA.
This school with a capacity of 4700 students is focused on digital and innovation in order to be in line with the best world standards.
In partnership with Henning Larsen, we have designed a project that combines innovation, environmental friendliness and a focus on student life.
At the centre of the project a large wooden structure is designed to be visible and accessible from all sides. Large terraces extend towards the canal and invite students to meet, study and enjoy the 360° view over Reims.
The large hall combines wood and glass to bring conviviality and luminosity to the spaces.
- Innovative pedagogy.
- Changing neighborhood.
- International team.
- Targeted labels: LEED, WELL, E+C
Integration into the site
The school fits into the overall structure of the master plan with a continuous alignment of facades towards the northern end of the site and a more open structure towards the canal to the south allowing views and natural light into this area. The whole campus has a strong internal coherence and brings life to its surroundings. A central east-west passageway links the campus to the neighborhood and allows views to the various outdoor spaces of the project.
The master plan provides for planted alleys in a north-south direction. For the NEOMA site, we have taken our landscape strategy a step further by creating a student park on the the entire length of the site. It also refers to the former industrial area, where greenery always found its way through the small cracks in the pavement. It is in these cracks that life appears and flourishes.
Heart of Campus - Neoma’s green lung
At the centre of the project, we placed the heart of the school: a wooden structure incorporating all the social functions of the students, the associations, the canteen and the learning centre. This central wooden building is designed as a large structure visible and accessible from all sides.
Descending towards the canal, it offers large rooftop terraces at all levels, encouraging students to use the outdoors to study, meet and enjoy a 360° panoramic view of Reims.
NEOMA’s project prioritises the creation of a welcoming pedestrian environment towards the canal and proposes to transform the existing building located in the southern part of the plot. This building will include student functions and a café.
Revitalising the canal
The structure of the building, which opens onto the canal, characterises the new area and offers views of the Neoma “universe”. The life of the school will animate the NEOMA campus but will also give a dynamic to the canal side and the surrounding parks. The central wooden structure attracts the attention of passers-by with its tiered green landscape and lively student life.
Landscape as a support for student life
The central courtyard garden is the green lung of Neoma. It is the ideal break space, as well as an appropriate environment for outdoor study and larger events. The green spaces are the permanent backdrop to the daily life of the school.
Organisation of spaces
The central wooden building is the heart of our project. We conceive it as a flexible grid offering:
- visual connections between floors,
- external and internal balconies,
- green spaces,
- open staircases.
The programme consists of a substantial proportion of classrooms and more formal teaching spaces. We propose to frame the campus with these spaces in a simple post-and-beam concrete structure capable of adapting to future changes in teaching methods.
The buildings have been designed with recesses for entrances and can be extended in a later phase. Their post and beam concrete structure also makes them very flexible buildings where the partitioning can be changed in the future without major intervention.
All areas are well lit with generous glass surfaces and offer extensive views of nature.
Heart of the Campus
The central wooden structure contrasts with the concrete buildings. It is a meeting place where all the student life areas have been positioned. Highly visible, open on all sides, extended by terraces with pergolas on all levels, we thought it as a warm and lively place.
It is also a building that we have designed as a “toolbox”, evolving, built with a post-and-beam wooden framework that will allow in the future to accommodate new uses if the need arises.
Façade and materials
The façade was designed to draw parallels with the history of the site: structures, patterns and colours from the codes of industrial construction were translated into a contemporary language. The external envelope alternates vertical rhythms of full cladding and openings. As for the interior façade, it is more subdivided with niches and balconies opening onto the gardens, while retaining the same rhythms.
The wooden structure is a new typology in the district that responds to a sustainable ambition and a desire to introduce a living and warm material as a living environment for students and teachers. We wanted to create an open and flexible structure in which one can see and be seen.
An open and flexible structure in which you can see and be seen. Structures, patterns and colours are based on the uses of the buildings industrial heritage of the district.
The upper part of the façade consists of an alternating rhythm of windows and solid metal elements. Thin metal fins shade the facade and give it depth.
In industrial architecture, the supporting structure is often visible. In the steel structure, as on the existing buildings on the site, cross braces are present between two posts. We wanted to integrate this element to recall the history of the site while remaining resolutely contemporary.
Façade of the wooden building
The wooden façade of the building consists of wooden frames and louvers that serve as sun protection. The post-and-beam wooden structure also extends to the exterior, creating large pergolas. The building descends towards the canal in successive terraces in an inviting gesture.
Patriarche (Architecture, Interior design)
Patriarche UX (Digital)
Henning Larsen (leader)
3D pictures ©Henning Larsen