Condorcet Library and Learning Centre



Condorcet Campus, Aubervilliers, FR


Région Ile de France


University research library, archives and learning centre


23 000 m²


56 050 000 €




Structuring the heart of the campus, the Grand Equipement Documentaire (GED) will become a major focal point of animation in the Condorcet Campus area, its district and the entire city.

The catalogues of 45 libraries specialized in human and social sciences will be open to all the institutions of the Condorcet Campus, the scholars and to the public. The building will offer a consultation space with a capacity of 1432 seats, some logistic spaces including archives and reserves, a forum, a cafe, a bookstore, and some public gardens. Some exhibitions will be open to the public, and work spaces will be available for students and residents.

Standing iconic at the heart of the campus with its façade patterned like a beehive, the library fits easily into the urban context. The library space is elegantly fitted above a large traversing forum, the latter becoming the missing link between the courtyards and the reading gardens. Low volumes - street-side - carve out the straightness of the façade and give birth to converted terraces.

In this modern age of easy and free access of all materials, it was a challenge to avoid the shelving units overcrowding the reading spaces and obstructing the eye. It was achieved with slight change of levels in the floor and high ceilings facilitating the diffusion of light. Each floor plan is conceived with evolution in mind; who knows what the future of books will be made of.

The density of the building is in line with the economical and environmental goals set at tender stage. The creation of a very large park for residents is made possible by the optimization of the space. Conceived like a field, it is designed to welcome readers or quiet activities. Trees offer a wide palette of umbrage from complete shade to total exposition. A stream, as an undulating ribbon, not only cools down the zone but in receiving the rain waters, gathers all the conditions for the favourable development of a rich natural environment.

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