The emblematic building of the Nanterre school of architecture, designed by Jacques Kalisz in the 1970s, situated within the green confines of André Malraux park, is in much need of repair.
The original design, a model of flexibility, incorporating modular partitions and façades, is currently the subject of a renovation scheme as part of a wider project of urban renewal.
The challenge is to refurbish and transform the site to create a training campus for the renowned chef Alain Ducasse, including teaching spaces, a student residence, and company headquarters.
The modular spaces of the building, the structure and interchangeable façade panels are of architectural interest but are unfortunately in a very poor condition, and no longer meet the environmental standards necessary for current uses. As a result, only half the building will be conserved to accommodate certain functions of the school including the business incubator and the student apartments. The new extension, although respecting the original building grid, offers spaces with the specific dimensions required by the new kitchen areas.
The new image of the centre is completed and crowned by the ‘cloud’, an organic form which contrasts and compliments the orthogonal geometry of the existing building. This glazed structure provides unique spaces for teaching areas and management offices and forms an eye-catching focus for the park and the district.
The architectural transformation of this project, whilst upgrading its functional efficiency, acknowledges the founding principles of its design and provides the Ducasse name with an original and up-to-date image.