Moreau Kusunoki completes the central Pavilion of Sciences Po’s new urban campus in the historic centre of Paris as part of the school’s “Cœur 2022” vision. As part of the conversion project developed in partnership with Wilmotte & Associés and heritage architect Pierre Bortolussi, Moreau Kusunoki steered the contemporary extensions, namely the Pavilion and the main courtyard in relation to the library.
Inserting itself within a former 17th century monastery at Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Sciences Po’s new centripetal expansion physically and symbolically occupies the intersection of the political and academic hearts of Paris. Three interconnected historic courtyards weave together the different units of the campus to bring about spontaneous encounters and diverse spaces to unite, reimagining the 21st century inner-city campus as a place of communication, integration and transparency.
“Emergence”, the central glazed pavilion, accommodates and reveals in its transparent and open platforms the ever-changing scenes of the school’s life. The large pivoting windows on the main façade, in open position, offer a sensorial experience of total continuity between inside and outside. The principles of openness and transparency are at the heart of the Pavilion’s conception, reflecting the university’s own values of diversity and exchange.
In its play with different nuances of grey — the grey of the concrete, of the steel, and of the skies of Paris reflected in the glass — the project offers a universality and a timeless aesthetic in its silent tone of colour. It brings out the raw and honest beauty of the slabs, the columns and the volumes, in harmony with the dignified architecture of the surrounding heritage.
The glass façades mirror the historic buildings, and reflect a subtle new light on them. Through its pure and elementary attitude, the Pavilion becomes a natural link between city and campus, an inviting place of exchange between overlapping temporalities, gazing towards the future.