KAAN Architecten recently completed the new Institut des Sciences Moléculaires d'Orsay (ISMO), part of the future campus of the Université Paris-Saclay (France). Robust and elegant, while essentially open in character, the building is distinguished by an harmonic coexistence of nature and scientific research.
The building is located on the Plateau de Saclay, 20 km south-west of Paris. Initiated in 2010, and born of the fusion of three research laboratories, this higher institute for molecular physics and physico-chemistry, under the supervision of Université Paris-Sud and CNRS, employees a staff of 170 collaborators. ISMO merges with the Centre de Physique Matière et Rayonnement, grouping physics laboratories, an educational building and a reception centre for international researchers.
The new ISMO building is located within the Paris-Saclay Campus, an urban campus spread over nearly 600 hectares. Dedicated to higher education, research and innovation, this mixed vicinity is accompanied by housing, services and offices. Major names in architecture and urbanism have been involved in the design of this urban campus, and have contributed to making it one of the eight most promising global clusters. The monumental rectangular building of 10.000 square metres designed by KAAN Architecten is a remarkable component in this original architectural development.
The ISMO building is divided into two architecturally expressed realms, intertwined into a single entity. One area contains lasers, spectrometers and other advanced scientific instruments, and the other comprises smart, quiet meeting and office spaces that provide calm working conditions and promote concentration.
Photography: Fernando Guerra FG+SG