Cité de l’innovation Sorbonne Université by BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group

Our new 15.000 m2 innovation center for Sorbonne University is rapidly rising amongst its neighbors – Parisian architectural icons of all eras: Institut du Monde Arabe, Campus Jussieu, and Notre Dame.

The center, expected to open in 2025, will be a significant addition to Sorbonne’s Faculty of Science, strengthen knowledge-sharing with the wider French society, and support academic scholars in their entrepreneurial pursuits.

Image © BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group

Designed in collaboration with OXO Architectes, Cité de l’innovation Sorbonne Université is a form of urban experiment, embodying the imprint of the pressures of its hyper dense urban context.

It is conceived as a chain of reactions to the various external and internal forces acting upon it: inflated to allow daylight and air to enter into the heart of the facility, compressed to ensure daylight and views for the neighboring classrooms and dormitories.

Image © BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group

Lifted to allow the public to enter from both plaza and park and finally tilted to reflect to Parisians the spectacular view of the Paris skyline and the Notre Dame.

The facility is both a park and a building at once. The central canyon merges the park with the IMA square in an interior space following the original intentions of a green axis in the master plan.

Image © BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group

The green space taken up by the footprint of the building is replaced by the large roof terrace, providing both covered outdoor spaces for the restaurant and a gently sloped open green space with panoramic views over the city.

Cité de l’innovation Sorbonne Université interfaces campus and city life. The public ground floor, housing conference facilities, café and book store, connects the life of the elevated plinth with the public life of the IMA square.

Image © BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group

The iconic view of the Notre Dame cathedral is not only brought into the daily life of the building though the large panoramic windows.

The façade towards the IMA square is also slightly angled, so a mirror image of the cathedral becomes visible from eyelevel on the square – connecting the Cité de l’innovation Sorbonne Université building visually to its iconic location. Source by BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group.

Image © BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group

Location: Paris, France

Architect: BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group

Partners-in-Charge: Bjarke Ingels, Jakob Sand, Andreas Klok Pedersen

Project Manager: Robert Grimm, Gerhard Pfeiler

Project Leader: Francisco Castellanos, Jose Ignacio Balaguer Palacios

Design Team: Aimee Louise Desert, Alex Bogdan Ritivoi, Alexander Codda, Alexandre Carpentier, Alžbeta Hlinová, Amro Abdelsalam, Andrea Angelo Suardi, Andreas Bak, Antonina Tsepurnohh, Bernhard Touzet, Boris Kadiyski, Camille Crepin, Daniel Sundlin, Duncan Horswill, Edouard Boisse, Elena Bresciani, Fabio Garau, Filip Fot, Filip Rozkowski, Finn Nørkjær, Francois Ducatez, Gabrielle Nadeau, Gerhard Pfeiler, Gül Ertekin, Jean Paysant, Jose Ignacio Balaguer Palacios, Lucie Krulichova, Matteo Baggiarini, Michael Leef, Nanna Gyldholm Møller, Ole Elkjær-Larsen, Quentin Blaising, Roberto Fabbri, Robinson Neuville, Sergiu Calacean, Simona Reiciunaite, Sorcha Burke, Tiina Liisa Juuti, Tobias Hjortdal, Yang Du

BIG Engineering: Andrea Hektor, Andy Coward, Bjarke Koch-Ørvad, Cæcilie Søs Brandt-Olsen, Edward Durie, Emma Isabella Olsson, Ewa Zapiec, Ingrid Albina Olivia Lampa, Janis Bronka, Jonathan Russell, Lore Vyfeyken, Ricardo Candel, Thomas Lejeune, Timo Harboe Nielsen

Collaborators: OXO Architectes (Co-Designer & Local Architect), SPAN (Structural Engineer & Facade Specialist), Igrec Ingnierie (MEP Consultant), Bureau Michel Forgue (Economist), Franck Boutté Consultants (Sustainability Consultant), Theatre Projects (Acoustic Consultant), Geoff McFetridge (Graphic Work Artist)

Client: Sorbonne Université

Size in m2: 15,992

Year: 2025

Images: Courtesy of BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group

Image © BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group

Image © BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group

Image © BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group

Image © BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group

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