Psychology department of the University of Geneva
© Jean-Michel Landecy

Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences - University of Geneva

PHILIPPE MEYER ARCHITECTE as Architects

The forecourt of a university. Carved in this forecourt, a great hall. Above it, a seven storey building. At the rear, against the gable wall of an existing residential building, there is a new wall, thick enough to house all the service and vertical access elements, a monolithic wall: a solution representing continuity. On the ground floor, a balcony, a walkway to the staircase, to the “ Salle des pas perdus” that provides access to six seminar rooms with skylights that let natural light in from the forecourt.

Inside each floor, three different office modules combine freely. The white plaster modules bear different spatial compositions and can be flexibly adapted. In between them, the warmth of the red wood used in common areas frames and captures the view outside. The façade is created by the layering of levels and office modules. The fixed wall panels are coated in a layer of black insulation while the openings consist of black, thermo-coated aluminium window profiles.

The ensemble has a bracing system composed of steel struts with a free, wellconceived design that is both abstract and unifying. The built volume is still naked, unprotected. A uniform metallic fabric provides a shield veil, protecting the façade from the sun, wind and rain. The building will change its appearance depending on the angle of the sun, the brightness, the air humidity, the temperature, the colour of the sky, the lighting in the offices, the corridors, the city: opaque, matt, transparent, brilliant, moiré, nonexistent, hazy, moving, floating like a lantern on the university campus.

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