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Global Architecture Platform

New Generation Research Center

Caen, France 2013-2015

Today, a public place has to create the opportunity to expand uses, to build bridges between functions or programs, and to allow meetings, debate and exchange. For us, the success of the project depends on a maximum availability of space and, at the same time, on independent use of that space. The New Generation Research Centre allows flexible use and programming, offering an infinite combination of rooms, spaces, and times of use inside the largest possible volume.

Compactness: landmark architecture

The New Generation Research Centre is located at the heart of the vibrant urban renewal of the peninsula of Caen, a rapidly changing environment where innovation is the rule. The prime location, at the junction of views of the banks of the river Orne and the bridge over the Victor Hugo Channel, gives the building a strategic position. This visible, exposed site, next to large freestanding buildings with strong identities (Cargo, ENSAM, BMVR), does not have to submit to or merely protect itself from the context; it has to adopt a conquering attitude. The project’s compactness asserts its character and defines an architectural landmark. Reinterpreting the image of the vertical shed, the building saves space on the ground, a precious resource, and unfolds vertically. Slightly turned to ensure the continuity of views and to respect its neighbours, it establishes a close relationship with its built environment.

The megafloor: flexibility and suppleness

The project is conceived as a superposition of spaces, atmospheres, and climates. We propose a high-capacity structure, inventing a device able to create a series of rich, diverse situations. An efficient, prefabricated structure determines free, flexible platforms capable of evolving according to the needs of the brief. Three trays, with a surface area of 520 m2 and six metres high, float above the ground, connected by a wide open elevator that progressively links ground and rooftop. The service spaces are located on the periphery, thereby completely freeing up the space. Different areas (public plaza, multipurpose space, workshops, business incubator and events roof) are overlain within the same envelope, functioning independently and creating continuity of public space. Like a Swiss Army Knife, the building ensures multiple functions in a rational, efficient compact volume.


Architects: Bruther / Stéphanie Bru & Alexandre Theriot
Collaborator: David Pallussiére
Partners: Altia (Acoustic), Batiserf (Structure), Michel Forgue (Economist), Inex (Environnemental)
Companies: Zenone (structural work), Ertcm (metal frame), Ctibat (covers & locksmith). Highpoint (ETFE), Foucault (cladding), Seb (sealing), Mbhn (interior woodwork), Pierre Peinture (walls & paint), Scf (heating ventilation & air conditioning), Masselin (strong & low currents), Afc (automatic doors), Orona (lift), Cdi (quartz screeds)
Client: Association Relais d’Sciences
Programme manager: Aubry & Guiguet
Surface: 2’500 m²
Budget: 4.00 M €

03.May.2017 13196 views

Founded by Stéphanie Bru and Alexandre Theriot, Bruther works in the fields of architecture, research, education, urbanism and landscape. Since 2007, Bruther develops national and international projects such as Cultural and Sport Center Saint-Blaise (2014), Helsinki Central Library (2013) and New Generation Research Center (2015). Bruther stands for a specific architecture, adapted to the needs of each project in order to offer maximal living conditions. Adaptability and evolutivity of the building are fundamentals in the office practice.

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