Lab City (École Centrale Paris) is a new education and research facility for the prestigious École Centrale Paris located on the University Campus in Saclay (near Paris). This ‘open urban school’, design by O.M.A. Rotterdam, has the dynamic atmosphere of a big city. The large hall in the middle of the building encourages interaction between the various users: educators, students, researchers, entrepreneurs. The building is designed with a transparent envelope that creates a semi-outdoor environment inside the hall. Modular building blocks within and adjacent to the hall provide areas with a more controlled (optimised) environment and a specific functionality.
Royal HaskoningDHV (in collaboration with Level Acoustics & Vibration) is the acoustic consultant for the project. The design has various acoustic challenges, one of them is the ETFE roof. The main hall has an ETFE-pillow roof construction. ETFE (Ethylene tetrafluoroethylene) is a relatively new building material that has many benefits but one of the disadvantages is that the pillows are easily excited by rain and generate noise. Also, the building will have vibration sensitive laboratories.