The centre INRA in Versailles-Grignon is engaged in the renovation of the building 1 and 2 of the site Versailles. Built in 1959, the buildings integrate laboratories, offices, air-conditioned chambers, and diverse installations linked to research.
The site Versailles (Route de St Cyr) is implanted on a plot bordering the land belonging to the castle of Versailles. Thus, the interventions are subject to constraining architectural restrictions.
The need for the teams to store material and accessories used for their research work means that the spaces such as the corridors and the interstitial spaces are overused.
This “space ownership” has impacted on the safety and the conviviality of the buildings.
This renovation aimed at building a new image of the interiors and restore a climate of exchange between the members of staff.
The architectural interventions were based on managing the complexity of the technical installations characteristic to this type of project in order for it to represent the functional aspect of the building.
The project was about structuring the ventilation pipe network, electrical cables and other ventilators in a way it would give the spaces an aesthetical sense in line with the programme.
Large areas of transparency have been created to establish a visual relationship between the reception areas and the convivial areas and also to allow a better spatial fluidity.
The walkways have been equipped with storage spaces inbuilt within the laboratories walls to answer to their specific needs. This highlighted the geometry of the laboratories and improved its spatial readability.
To complete this aesthetical approach and to transform the excessively sterilised atmosphere of the place, the use of polychromes has been chosen in addition with bright colours thus emphasizing the intrinsic spatial qualities of the place.