The brief here was to create a centrepiece for the “Cité des Sciences”. Both symbol of the future and reminder of the past, the Maison du Savoir was conceived Baumschlager Eberle Architekten as the focal point of the new University of Luxembourg campus and constructed in association with Christian Bauer & Associés as a striking landmark, visible from miles around.
Project Name: La Maison du Savoir – University of Luxembourg
Studio Name: Baumschlager Eberle Architekten
Photo Credits: Eduard Hueber, archphoto & Baumschlager Eberle Architekten
Cooperation: Christian Bauer & Associés, Luxembourg
Landscape design: Michael Desvigne
Interior design: Baumschlager Eberle Architekten
Located on the site of a former steel plant in the Belval district of Esch-Sur-Alzette, the University of Luxembourg comprises a vertical rectangle and a floating horizontal bar and makes numerous references to the history of the area, symbolising the site’s transformation from steel production to the modern seat of learning. In various ways, the Maison du Savoir seeks to bridge the gap between a past in which steel was produced on the 67-acre Terrasse des Hauts-Fourneaux site and the present. Rising 85 metres and 18 storeys above the ground, the tower, for example, echoes the proportions of the old blast furnaces.
The impression of floating is created by the pre-stressed concrete structures that project out from the second floor of the building upwards. In urban development terms, the Maison du Savoir connects the Place du Saint-Esprit to the north with the empty spaces awaiting the development of the library and other university buildings to the south, thus establishing a larger urban environment without sacrificing either its stand-alone status or its sculptural character.
The double-shelled construction chosen for the facade comprises an inner layer that forms the building’s climatic barrier and an outer layer that envelopes it in a steel honeycomb structure, regulating its transparency and so the amount of light admitted. The Maison du Savoir is thus able to provide premium user comfort without mechanical ventilation or cooling – only the large lecture theatres being fitted with bespoke ventilation systems. The space allocation inside the building allows for a variety of potential uses and its 50,000m² house several lecture theatres and conference halls as well as staff and administrative offices and catering facilities.
The brief here was to create the centrepiece of the new “Cité des Sciences” for the new University of Luxemburg, a symbol of the future that would also reference local history and the site’s steelmaking heritage. Realisation: The Maison du Savoir was constructed as a striking landmark building, visible from miles around, comprising a vertical rectangle and a floating horizontal bar, and makes numerous references to the area’s industrial heritage.
Rising 85 metres and 18 storeys above the ground, the tower, for example, echoes the proportions of the old blast furnaces. Features: The impression of floating is created by the pre-stressed concrete structures that project out from the second floor of the building upwards. The Maison du Savoir establishes a larger urban environment without sacrificing either its stand-alone status or its sculptural character, its double-shelled facade construction helping achieve premium user comfort whilst a variable space allocation plan inside allows for a variety of potential uses.