The office of Chapuis Royer Architectures also recently delivered two other projects near the Diderot University Restaurant: the extension of the Institut d'Etudes Politiques on the Grenoble campus, located just opposite the restaurant, and the rehabilitation and extension of a 13-century priory which has been turned into the Montbonnot multimedia library in a neighboring municipality. Concrete and Corten steel remain the preferred materials here, serving as a common thread linking the three operations.

Built in 1965, the Institut d’études politiques (IEP, or School of Political Science) had a rather less exceptional façade which had begun to deteriorate. No longer compliant with any building codes, it had to be fully rehabilitated and enhanced with an extension in order to provide what it lacked in its initial program. Standing at the intersection of three major axes and in close proximity to the campus tram station, it benefits from a highly strategic location.

To enhance its status, the decision was made to take advantage of the rhythm of the existing structure of alternating raw concrete columns/beams, screen walls and sunshades, to design an extension that literally blends into the initial construction, giving it a new lease on life and a beautiful architectural presence. Today it is virtually impossible to tell the old section of the building from the new one. All concrete elements were poured in place, including exterior and interior staircases. To fully achieve symbiosis of old and new, two types of forms were used: a metal form, for the plinths and the parapet walls resulting in a smooth concrete, virtually identical to rehabilitated concrete of the original columns/beams; wood, the other material used for pouring forms, recalls the existing screen walls decorating the west façade.

Project Sheets
Address: Grenoble campus Saint Martin d’Hères, France
Client: Grenoble Alpes Métropole
Architects: Chapuis Royer Architectures (project managers: Christine Royer, Dominique Chapuis), Betrec, Adret, Alp’Etudes
Surface: 9,065 m² (97,574 sq ft)
New: 1,890 m² (20,343 sq ft), rehabilitation: 7,175 m² (77,231 sq ft)
Cost: €6,682,367 excl. VAT
Calendar: delivered in March 2018