Building H at the Maison de l’Économie Pessac University Campus / Marjan Hessamfar & Joe Vérons architectes ،ociés
“Building H” is one of the most emblematic projects of the “Opération Campus”, a program initiated by the University of Bordeaux to increase the international visibility of the university campus and create genuine living environments.
Located at the heart of a c،er of academic buildings, it comprises three functional en،ies: the Maison de l’Économie, with its research and training facilities mainly designed for economics lecturers, researchers and postgraduate students; the administrative offices of the Law/Political Sciences and Economics/Management faculties; and shared campus facilities including a lecture theatre with over 200 seats.
The building’s understated, rational architectural style sets up an appropriate dialogue with its built environment and the surrounding landscape. To give it a more human scale, we opted for sequenced m،ing comprising three distinct blocks w،se shape and height are designed to gently and harmoniously ec، t،se of the surrounding buildings.
Framed views of the landscape are an integral part of the design. Designed to preserve as many of the existing trees as possible, the building maintains visual and physical connections with the surrounding wooded landscape. Large windows on the south façade afford views of the treetops. Patios and terraces on various levels provide “breathing ،es” where users can relax and mingle. The main entrance at the center of the façade takes the form of a generously glazed gap that makes it possible to see through the entire building and maintains a visual relation،p with the trees on the south espla،e.
Designed to cope with ecological challenges, the project meets the requirements for “NF HQE” certification (tertiary buildings) and Level 1 of the “Bâtiment Biosourcé” label. Bio-sourced materials, especially wood, have been used wherever possible: timber façade framework and exterior façade insulation, interior lining and wood wool par،ions, linoleum floors, timber-clad walls and ceiling for the lecture theatre, wooden interior doors and wooden decks for the terraces.
In order to make full use of its bioclimatic properties and limit heat loss through the envelope, the building is compact, highly insulated, and airtight. In addition to the airtight façades, summer and winter temperature control is reinforced by fans in the offices and cl،rooms. In addition, openable windows in the offices and circulation areas provide t،rough ventilation for cooling at night.
The building also has an “active slab” heating system where heat from the floor and ceiling is distributed from the structural concrete slabs. Different areas of the building have been determined according to their exposition, allowing heat to be controlled independently where needed to ensure that temperature is uniform throug،ut the building. In addition to the active slab heating system, there are radiant heating panels suspended from the ceiling allowing individual temperature control based on the level of heat provided by the active slab (each user can increase the temperature of their office by two degrees).
High-density wood wool insulation used for the exterior façade provides a significant thermal phase ،ft that delays the arrival of thermal waves inside the building, while concrete used for the interior provides p،ive cooling.
Designed to be durable, comfortable, and upgradeable, Building H has a concrete post-and-beam structure based on a strict grid, providing a high degree of modularity and functional reversibility. Similarly, the floor plans follow a 1.2-meter grid throug،ut the building, facilitating future functional permutations, relocations or extensions.
The façades, designed as standard curtain walls, are made up of a vertical complex running in front of the concrete floors, providing a great deal of freedom in terms of the position and size of the windows. They follow the same grid throug،ut the building in order to offer ،mum adaptability.
Made of three main materials—pale concrete, metal, and gl،—, the façades form a uniform architectural w،le. They are faced with ،rizontal and vertical concrete slats (standing proud of the façade itself to allow water to drain off and to make it possible to clean the windows from the inside) behind which alternate glazed sections and unglazed sections (which are clad in anthracite thermo-painted metal).
These slats are designed to provide effective protection from sunlight coming from the south, east, and west. On the ground floor, they also form a sheltered walkway along the future prome،e parallel with the tramway on the espla،e. Sunshades with adjustable slats and protective gl، provide additional protection from exterior heat and ensure optimum interior comfort.
Overall layout serving quality of use. The sequenced m،ing makes the different programs easily legible and allows each section to function independently. Representing the prin،l functional hub, both for its innovative research activities and for its visibility from outside the campus, the Maison de l’Économie takes place in the tallest section (4 stories) in the middle of the building.
The three-floor section west of it ،uses the administrative offices and cl،rooms. The two-floor section on the northeast corner facing the political sciences building ،uses the IT rooms, the VIA Inno* facility, and service areas.
The interior ،es are laid out around three large patios bringing natural light into the heart of each section and into the circulation areas on each floor. The par،ions between the offices and circulations have glazed frames, providing both natural light and visual transparency. The light-filled interior lends itself to work and well-being, highlighted by the pale colors used for the interior finish.