KAAN Architecten + Fres Architectes : ISMO

The Institute of Molecular Sciences of Orsay (ISMO) lays its bags in its new headquarters, a state-of-the-art building designed by KAAN Architecten in collaboration with FRES Architects. When technology meets aesthetics ...

Decidedly, the plateau of Saclay does not finish to make talk about him! After hosting major schools - and architectural programs equally impressive - it is now the Institute of Molecular Sciences Orsay (ISMO) to join this new pole of technological excellence. Entrusted to the Dutch agency KAAN Architecten and the architect
FRES architects, its new headquarters of 10 000 square meters is characterized by a massive monolith with a raw concrete structure and imposing volumes concealing the fine flower of research.


The building, pierced with a multitude of reflecting windows in a regular depression of 80 centimeters on its main facade, is divided into two distinct zones. The first, located to the north, is devoted to purely scientific parts and houses the laboratories and their equipment. The second, south side, is preceded by a facade whose triangular pattern is composed of an assembly of sturdy uprights and concrete lintels through which the visitor enters. Entranced by two patios treated with wooden cladding, it is intended to house offices, meeting rooms and relaxation areas.

If the envelope is rather robust, the atmosphere lighten once inside. With white as the dominant tone, enhanced by the strong presence of natural light due to numerous openings on outdoor spaces, the atrium has an almost spiritual, soothing appearance. Under its high ceiling height is a wide staircase to access the laboratories and teaching spaces located on the third and fourth floors.

Contrasts marked that do not stop surprising us.

The project is selected for the ADC Awards 2019 in the category Education / Higher

To learn more, visit the ADC Award websites and from KAAN Architecten et of FRES Architects

Photographs: Fernando Guerra and Sebastian van Damme

Post your comment

  • No comment on this article.

ADC Awards

ADC-Awards-logo-2017 250-01
The most outstanding architectural achievements elected by the professional community

>> Learn more


miaw white logo ok

An International Award to the best products for architects and layout professionals

>> Learn more


5, Saulnier Street - 75009 PARIS

T: + (33) 1 42 61 61 81

F: + (33) 1 42 61 61 82

[Email protected]


my account

Mobile version