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International school of information technology (EISTI)

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mission new construction – competition
client Society for the facilities within the region of Adour
project manager CoCo architecture, Jean de Giacinto architecte, Inddigo, OTCE, IDB
date 2009
footprint 3280m²
price 5,3M€ excl. taxes
location Pau (64)

This competition involves the development of a new building to house EISTI (the International School of Information Technology) in Pau. The new headquarters of the EISTI sit on a predominant site between the motorway and city centre. Due to its location and function, this project offers the ideal conditions for a city wide information and communication hub.

The building ‘transmits’ information by way of a “media facade”, a device placed on the skin of the structure. Within a constrained urban site, the project is constructed from three elements, the base, the structure and the media facade. The base responds to the open and disorganised environment of the nearby roundabout. Its geometry is organic, becoming a constructed landscape within the project. The under face houses the public functions: the entry, hallway, cafeteria and amphitheatre. The surface level of the base is an additional open space, creating an interface between the public and private programmes within the building. As a panoramic view point, it is a space of relaxation for students, and allows normally separate functions, such as an assembly space, sports hall, classrooms and courtyard to be linked together.

Suspended above the base, the main monolithic type structure contains work and teaching spaces over two 68m x 22m rectangular floors (the first and second levels of the building). These planes are penetrated by patios of slightly inclined geometries, adding a sense of energy to the space. The patios bring external light and natural ventilation into the building. Photosensitive panels are attached to the facades of the structure. This skin reflects the colours of the sky and surrounding environment, blending the building into the site while at the same time providing visibility to the project on an urban scale. The pixelised facade is the process of abstraction and superimposition of physical and virtual networks as an example of what information technology can produce.