The extension of the University of Pau and Pays de l'Adour uses enameled façade panels on the building´s front to create brightness and a magical play of colors.

Project details

Project
Université de Pau et des Pays de l'Adour, Pau, France
Architect
Patrick Mauger Architecture
Products used
25,500 custom-made Argeton façade panels in three colors

Université de Pau et des Pays de l'Adour, Pau, France

Université de Pau et des Pays de l'Adour, Pau, France © Didier boy de la tour

Université de Pau et des Pays de l'Adour, Pau, France

Université de Pau et des Pays de l'Adour, Pau, France © Didier boy de la tour

Université de Pau et des Pays de l'Adour, Pau, France

Université de Pau et des Pays de l'Adour, Pau, France © Didier boy de la tour

Université de Pau et des Pays de l'Adour, Pau, France

Université de Pau et des Pays de l'Adour, Pau, France © Didier boy de la tour

Université de Pau et des Pays de l'Adour, Pau, France

Université de Pau et des Pays de l'Adour, Pau, France © Didier boy de la tour

Université de Pau et des Pays de l'Adour, Pau, France

Université de Pau et des Pays de l'Adour, Pau, France © Didier boy de la tour

A project that unites the past with the future

Built in the 70s in the style of an American campus, the University of Law, Economics and Management of Pau and Pays de l'Adour needed to expand its facilities. The peculiarity of this university lies in its location in the middle of nature, surrounded by a beautiful green scenery. Architect Patrick Mauger from Paris aimed at bringing a new approach to the building, while respecting current environmental requirements. In line with his working style, he wanted to understand the existing building, before taking it further. He noticed that the campus building showed a strong horizontality, underlined by bands covered with colored façade panels. This heritage was considered during the planning process.

Combining heat and light

The extension had to provide sufficient light for students and university staff, as well as ensure great comfort and a pleasant learning environment. Perforated canopies, partly covered with enameled façade panels now surround the extension, following the same angle as the clay embellishments of existing building parts. The perforation of the canopies allows enough light to enter through the large windows to achieve bright interiors, while the effects of the perforations are more or less dense, depending on the orientation of the building, to control the incidence of light and the heat gain.

Custom façade panels for custom needs

The architect had a very precise idea of the tiles he wanted to use, and because of them not being available in this exact form on the market, they were custom-made for this project in a collaboration with Wienerberger. 25,500 enameled Argeton façade panels in the format 10 x 20 centimeters were produced by the company. The colors yellow, red and blue were chosen with reference to the existing building, but also considering the trees planted in the surroundings, Ginkgo Biloba. In the course of the year, the tree´s green leaves turn orange, and then golden yellow in autumn. The scattered leaves thus correspond to the colors of the tiles, as a representation of the façade on the lawns. This play of colors together with the blanks of the perforations brings a movement to the university complex, which is reminiscent of Impressionist paintings.

Facade composition

The façades have been designed to differentiate between the public spaces (shop and tea room) and the storage areas that are included in the new building. From the outside, the façades form two separate L-shaped spaces. The first features huge windows and houses the retail space on the ground floor and tea room on the first floor. The second L-shape contains the storage premises and is enclosed by bricks. This creates interplay between the delicate shades of the light pink bricks, their bleached appearance creating a reference to the flour used in the factory and the grey of the concrete grid.

 

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