A French university that borrows from the American campus
For the Higher School of Engineering in southern Brittany, French architecture firm ANMA borrowed inspiration from the American university campus, while scaling it down to suit the space and density constraints of France.
Using the rational of urban planning, the school becomes a miniature city within the city. A bold, colorful, central hub houses the cafeteria and amphitheater – two spaces which are absolutely vital to the university community. The central space also connects the two mixed-use wings that contain housing, classrooms and more community space.
The architects wanted to ensure a sense of cohesion throughout the building and conceived a variety of private and communal areas that would encourage interaction between students and faculty. All of the in-between space was designed to facilitate living, working and studying together. Group study rooms were added onto traditional classrooms and the tiered rooftop terraces provide an outdoor space for socializing.
Outside of the building, public space leads into the surrounding urban environment, thus connecting the university campus to a larger entity. Through the careful organization of space, the architects achieved a university that is more than a simple hall of knowledge, it is a living network, a true community of its own.