Housing Grenoble, La Maison des Etudiants, Student Residence France, Architect, Building, Design

La Maison des Etudiants Grenoble : Researchers and Student Housing

French Student Residence design by Hérault Arnod Architectes

23 Apr 2012

Design: Hérault Arnod Architectes

Location: Grenoble, south eastern France

Maison Des Etudiants And Cite Galilee In Grenoble

La Maison des Etudiants Grenoble, France housing

La Maison des Etudiants Grenoble

La Maison des Etudiants is a student residence built in the 1930s. It is an eight-storey building, sober in style and with a plain facade, part of the skyline of the Grands Boulevard, a distinctive urban feature of the city of Grenoble. Originally, the building had fairly spacious rooms but only basic facilities, with communal showers and bathrooms. On the ground floor, at mezzanine level above the pavement, was the university cafeteria. Completely cut off from the street by its elevated position and its opaque pedestal structure, its rear extended into the kitchens, built on a single floor.

La Maison des Etudiants Grenoble, France building

The remit here was to regenerate the structure by remodelling the existing building and constructing Cité Galilée, a residence for young foreign research students. The challenge was to find a solution for the new volume, given that the space available was extremely tight, while also doing as much as possible to protect the views from the rooms in the existing building. The design of the extension was determined by this need for the two parts, old and new, to coexist without adversely affecting each other.

The old kitchens were demolished to create a garden. Modern in its style and distinctive in colour, Cité Galilée has the appearance of a new growth grafted onto the existing structure. It constitutes a single volume, a diagonal mass sculpted to protect the views and to comply with planning requirements. It is detached from the ground, thereby releasing transparent communal spaces on the ground floor and a wide bicycle shelter porch. The first two floors consist of bedrooms arranged in three directions, and form a platform which turns vertically and narrows from the third floor to form a communal terrace. From here on up, the bedrooms are distributed on either side of a glass-enclosed gangway. The Eastern facade is folded to provide views over the Bastille, Grenoble’s iconic mountain, from every room, and each room extends into a balcony.

La Maison des Etudiants Grenoble, France design

The new building’s architectural style is founded both on differentiation – in order to avoid any confusion between the 1930s building and the contemporary extension – and respect for the pre-existing design. Both parts are single coloured, the original white, the extension orange. This paradoxical assembly generates a new entity, a composition in which each of the elements reinforces the other’s identity.

From the boulevard, Cité Galilée is invisible and the extension very discreet. The major transformation in the lower part: the old mezzanine-level restaurant slab has gone, a new surface has been created at boulevard level, and this space has become a reception hall. The opaque sections have been replaced by a fully glazed facade on either side of the great hall, creating total transparency between street and garden.

Inside, the platforms have been cleared to make way for a new layout for the bedrooms, which have become fully equipped studios. They are arranged on the same principles in Cité Galilée and in the MDE, with a surface area of 18 m² in the Cité and different shapes and sizes on the different floors of the MDE. Each has a bathroom, a separate WC, a kitchen, a built-in bed, a desk and storage space.

Their ergonomics have been tailored by the architects down to the smallest details, with the aim of making maximum possible use of the available space within a tight budget. Rooms are subdivided into two areas: a sleeping and studying area to the front, and a lower section consisting of the entrance, kitchen, bathroom and WC. The latter is styled like a large piece of furniture, lined with multiply birchwood panels. This same material is also used for the beds, the desks and the shelving.

La Maison des Etudiants Researchers and Student Housing Grenoble Grenoble Researchers and Student Housing

La Maison des Etudiants Grenoble – Building Information

Title: Researchers and Student Housing – Grenoble
• 6, place Pasteur – Grenoble

• CROUS Grenoble

Operation management
• Direction Départementale de l’Equipement
Project management
• Hérault Arnod Architectes, lead architect
• Michel Forgue, economist
• IGB, structure
• Nicolas, fluids

• Rehabilitation of the existing building (MDE): 3022m² SHON
• Demolition of the existing building: 2138m² SHON
• Building addition (Cité Galilée): 1965m² SHON
• Total project area: 4987m² SHON

• € 10.5 million before taxes

• Winning project 2004
• Work beginning: Begin of 2008
• Delivered in 2010

Reorganization of student housing and construction of researcher’s housing: “Cité Galilée”
• Multi-use room, reception, offices, travel agency on the first floor of the existing building (ERP): 395m²
• Creation of a garden in place of an old disused school restaurant
• Student housing, on the floor above existent building (Maison des Etudiants):
– 124 individual rooms with kitchenette and bathroom, including 4 rooms for people with reduced access
– 37 rooms in 10 apartment shares, including 2 rooms for people with reduced access
• Housing for young foreign researchers in the building addition (Cité Galilée):
– 65 individual rooms with kitchenette and bathroom, including 2 rooms for people with reduced access
• Housing common rooms (sports room, relaxation room, laundry, internet and television room,…)

Images Hérault Arnod
Photos © André Morin

Researchers and Student Housing Grenoble images / information from Hérault Arnod Architectes Dec 2008

Hérault Arnod Architectes

Address: Résidence Maison Des Etudiants, 6 Place Pasteur, 380031 Grenoble, France
Phone: +33 810 06 40 69

Location: 6 Place Pasteur, 380031 Grenoble, France

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Comments / photos for the Researchers and Student Housing Grenoble page welcome

Website: Résidence Maison des Etudiants – Crous Grenoble Alpes