Bâtiment-Machine Paris

Multifunktionales Gebäude als Ergänzung der Gemeinschaftsflächen der Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris. Studio mit Alexandre Thériot, Studio Bruther, Paris.

Das Gelände der Cité Universitaire liegt direkt an der Périphérique, der Pariser Stadtautobahn.

And suddenly there it was. This massive block of concrete in the middle of our small town inside the huge city of Paris. Towering high above the surrounding landscape and buildings. I´m drawing nearer to it´s massive volumes which seem to float above the ground. There are no windows. inside the rough walls. Only some uncertain shadows between the different geometric volumes. Open to the public space, the ground floor with it´s rather low ceiling seems quite dark compared to the sunny day outside. A few people are sitting on benches, eating their lunch and enjoying the cool breeze. I am searching the entrance. There is a big staircase leading inside the building.


I am entering a vast room from below. A huge hall – rather dark and only illuminated by indirect daylight shining through some gaps in the walls where the different volumes connect with each other. The room feels calm and peaceful. And there is something bright above me in the higher levels. I want to have a look around. I hear some kids singing in the distance. Muffled snippets of a conversation from a café on the other side of the hall, distant sounds of a piano. What is this place? A huge ramp winds itself up in a big circle. I am walking upstairs. But the ramp is not steep, I like to walk on it and have a look around me. There are large volumes extending into the air-space of the hall. Open space meanders between them. What might be in there? From gallerys that go off the ramp one can reach the rooms inside. They are not all sized the same. But they seem not to have a certain use but rather can be transformed for all kinds of different uses.

Das offene Erdgeschoss.
Sportplätze in den oberen Geschossen.

I continue to ascend the ramp. The light from above seems to get brighter. Finally I am standing on the roof. There are all kinds of shapes ascending from the floor. Staircases and light wells, or are these chimneys? But behind all those figures, there is the view over the city. One can see in every direction. Paris as far as the eye can see. I want to stay here. High above the confusion and trouble in an oasis of light and air.

Funktionale Gliederung des Turms.