A team led by Sogelym Dixence, including Wilmotte & Associés, Moreau Kusunoki, Sasaki, and Pierre Bortolussi will transform a newly acquired parcel in Paris into an urban campus for France’s renowned university, Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po).
Sciences Po is a highly selective institution that has educated many of France’s elite politicians, civil servants, and business leaders since the 19th Century and is today a global university, convening students and faculty from around the world. The 146-year-old school purchased the centrally-located Hôtel de l’Artillerie in 2016 to expand its footprint in Paris. The compact site was formerly a Dominican monastery in Place Saint-Thomas d’Aquin, used in the nineteenth century as a weapons museum and by the Defense Ministry’s Central Committee of the Artillery. “With this exceptional site in the heart of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, we have gained the ideal venue to reinvent our teaching and research model once more,” the school says of the acquisition.
The development of the new campus to the north of boulevard Saint-Germain will include a library, classrooms, an entrepreneurship incubator, new social spaces, a cafeteria, and a concentration of research centers. Sasaki will lead the library design, which is slated for completion in September 2021.
Sasaki’s principal in charge on the project, urban designer Dennis Pieprz Hon. ASLA, says of the work: “We worked closely with the team to develop a bold and innovative idea for the overall campus layout with the library at the heart of the complex.” Sasaki architect Lan Ying Ip, AIA noted, “With views of a learning garden, the library will allow for a diverse array of collaborations as well as focused individual research.”
The Artillery Campus: Sciences Po 2022 Plan
The initiative is part of a Sciences Po 2022 plan and will build upon the school’s existing presence to the south of Boulevard Saint-Germain, which is home to iconic amphitheaters, classrooms, an executive education program, the historical library, and administrative offices. More than a physical expansion of the campus, the Artillery project is a catalyzing force behind the university’s ambitions.
“The plan will enhance the appeal of higher education in Paris and France on a European and international scale. It will radically transform Sciences Po and consolidate its place among the world’s best universities in the humanities and social sciences,” says project leader and Sciences Po Secretary General Charlene Avenal in a recent Q&A. “With Campus 2022, Sciences Po is being reinvented. Through this project, we are rethinking and breathing new life into the institution to reflect our intellectual and social ambition. We’re going to build innovative spaces for all our programmes [sic] and design the classrooms of the future: a newsroom for students of the School of Journalism and, for all students, group project rooms, flexible spaces and a central place for our incubator—all this in direct liaison with our faculty and involving our students as much as possible. From a research perspective, we’re going to stimulate interdisciplinarity: our researchers will be gathered together on two sites that they will share with the students. While designed to fully leverage education technology, the campus will also be rich in heritage and green spaces. We are going to offer all our students, faculty and staff study, work and living conditions of an exceptional standard in central Paris, which many, I believe, will envy…”
The project is now underway and the design team will move quickly into design and construction after winning the project through a rigorous competition managed by Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) on behalf of the Sciences Po. The final team was selected in late 2017 out of a 19-team field. Ultimately, the winning team competed with three other shortlisted teams that included global design leaders:
- Eiffage with Snøhetta and François Châtillon
- Icade with Kengo Kuma and H2O
- Vinci Immobilier with DVVD
To learn about the project’s goals, watch Science Po president, Frédérick Mion, and General Secretary, Charlene Avenal, speak to their vision here. And for more information and the latest news on the project, visit the Science Po 2022 website.