2002 – 2005

Professional University Institute
Complete mission
Clients Ville de Colmar
Size 2.610 m² / 2.7 M€ht
Engeneers E3 / Hagenmüller / Thermelec  
Labels Démarche HQE / THPE

Inaugurated by the municipality for utilization by the University of Haute Alsace, the program is separated into two distinct components, one designed for education, and the other for research. Our project followed this partition with the proposition of two wings. One wing, intended as a place of learning (IUP for VTPA), laid out over two floors and appropriately facing the surrounding agricultural landscape, was completed with the aide of traditional techniques and materials, and treated in a natural manner (concrete and stained wood). Symbolically, this part of the establishment is firmly rooted within the natural setting to which it refers, in the image of parallelepiped concrete enveloped with a mesh of red cedar wood, which hides the amphitheater. The other wing, dedicated to research laboratories (LVBE), perpendicular to the preceding, is clearly distinguished by the more sophisticated treatment of its structure and the lightness of its covering, composed of modular metallic panels. Facing the future public space, it is suspended above the courtyard to create a vast enclosed welcoming area for students. This takes away nothing, moreover, from the beautiful view of the orchard for experimentation attached to the rear. Finally, this formal simplicity allowed us to engage in an architectural discourse which essentially encompassed a work upon materials – wood, concrete, metal –, with their real symbolic charge, directly in relation with the object, and the wealth of these confrontations, always active but never brutal or aggressive; but also a work upon textures – solid or perforated metal –, with flat panels of wood siding or cut into strips to filter the light; and finally a work upon colors – red for the wood and light green for the interior walls of the rooms for general education – which echo the surrounding natural landscape and blur the boundaries between interior and exterior.

Project realized in collaboration with G. Bouley Architects.