Beyond Paris: A New University Campus at Aubervilliers

The physical, political, and social boundary of Paris, unchanged for nearly 150 years and delineated today by the ring road- the \”Peripherique\” – has insured a universally admired urban quality inside the city. It has also created a formidable barrier to growth and social continuity. The university system of Paris will be among the first to breach the boundary, with its new campus for the social sciences in Aubervilliers, just north of the ring road at the Porte de la Chapelle. The studio will examine the urban and landscape framework for the campus, as well as the architectural development of one of its components. The 7 hectare site (approximately 17 acres) is in an industrial/ warehouse district in transition. The new core campus will be the centerpiece of an emerging community within this district, The campus program includes faculty offices and laboratories, library, student center, conference center, and a main plaza. Students will begin working in teams on campus/urban design projects, and may choose to continue working in teams or individually on architectural projects. Students taking this studio are strongly encouraged to enroll in a coordinated seminar offered by Profs. Antoine Picon and Neil Levine \”Paris: The Growth of a Modern Metropolis.\” A joint trip to Paris is planned at the end of February. Goals of this combined effort are to understand the growth of the Paris region as a framework for new design interventions, to investigate how a new university campus and architecture can bridge between inner and outer Paris, and to define an urban campus with a distinct identity within the fabric of a community.