The challenge of this project was to convert an ordinary industrial building from the 1970s into aprestigious institute. Undoubtedly interesting from the perspective of sustainable development, thetransformation seemed problematical given the original building’s configuration. In hindsight, theconstraints became an asset, opening up new avenues of thought. They forced the architects to rethinkcertain functions, as, for instance, the layout of the academic units, midway between the open-plan andthe individual office. The aesthetic language chosen for this loft-like space « dedicated to knowledge »meets the challenge insofar as it respects the building’s industrial roots but turns it to a new purposethrough the sophisticated, contemporary character of the details.