Research center & laboratory Écotron IIe-de-France, by Atelier Téqui Architectes

The Ecotron IleDeFrance technical platform offers to the research community of innovative equipment called “Ecolabs”, designed to handle ecological systems under confinement conditions and environmental control. The Écotron Île-de-France platform commissioned for CNRS and ENS research occupies a site dominated by wild natural surroundings that needed to be domesticated. The project’s architectural treatment showcases the wooden structural statement. Vertical elements impart rhythm to the frontage by alternating opaque and glazed areas. The front cladding selected is thick heattreated Douglas fir with visible slats forming a pattern that contrasts with the verticality of the upright elements. Its bulk is an additional guarantee of a durable frontage. The joinery features extruded aluminium thermal break fittings. Exterior blinds with adjustable slats are provided for all front openings. They provide solar protection and are used to conceal the interior. A simple recess in the volume and the use of dark cladding indicate the bicycle parking area and the glazed frontage marks the entrance to the building protected by a simple porch. A wood-burning boiler provides hot water and heating. In this natural environment far from the bustle of the city, optimum use is made of wood. This material minimises the building’s ecological footprint and enhances its blending into its surroundings. The architectural statement primarily tends towards sobriety in the use of materials and energy without resorting to forced, complex demonstration of this rationale. It is a “low tech” building serving research, sober and minimalist in its statement, open and generous in its layout, spatial organisation and luminosity.

By Atelier Téqui Architectes