Université Polytechnique des Hauts-de-France – Institut des Mobilités et Transports Durables (IMTD) & Institut International du Management (IIM)

  • area / size 63,507 sqft
  • Completed 2020
  • Location Valenciennes, France,
  • Coldefy designed the Université Polytechnique des Hauts-de-France Institut des Mobilités et Transports Durables (IMTD) & Institut International du Management (IIM) located in Valenciennes, France.

    Intended to stimulate innovation, to imagine the mobility and industry of tomorrow, the institutes form an ecosystem dedicated to sustainable mobility and transport. They meet the highest standards of international science parks. Located in one of the most dynamic regions in terms of automobile, rail, aeronautics, and new mobility, they are intended for students, businesses (they host an incubator and an accelerator), and also to the general public.

    Architectural and urban integration aspect
    On the same site, training, research, and commercial activities come together around the theme of sustainable transport. The IMTD and the IIM, which are part of the Université Polytechnique des Hauts-de-France’s Innovative Campus operation, are the nerve center of the technology park. Linked by the grand central square, which is a garden, they form a single unit. This garden, which includes a demonstration and experimentation track, creates a strong link with the IMTD exhibition spaces.

    The buildings aligned like a showcase, create a continuous space. The entire site is perfectly aligned. Enveloping the building is a double-skin façade providing acoustic insulation, solar shading in summer, and thermal insulation in winter. The gable walls provide night-time illumination, transforming them into lanterns at night.

    Functional organization
    The various activity hubs within the base of the building are organized in such a way as to create a progression from public spaces to private spaces. Facilities open to the public face the central square. The public enters via the central exhibition space, showcasing the sustainable transport knowledge and expertise on the campus. The showroom’s glazed façade creates a connection with the exterior. The grand conference room directly adjoins the showroom. A moveable partition creates a strong symbiosis between these two areas. The stage also extends on the other side of the moveable partition, forming a platform in the exhibition space. It can be lowered into the ground to enable a vehicle or any other object to be displayed on stage from the exhibition room. The raked seating in the conference room is also retractable and can be stored along the lateral wall. These retractable features make these two areas incredibly flexible and modular: they can form a single space for a larger exhibition, and large-scale receptions can be held in this room (with the raked seating retracted).

    The visual continuity offered by the patio at the end of the room offers additional breathing space bringing in natural light and the ability to use this area as an outdoor exhibition space. The control room, with the translation booths, above the seating is accessed via a circular staircase. An immersive committee room adjoins the conference room. The documentation and multimedia center can be transformed into a learning center open to the public. The double-height ceiling makes way for a two-level mezzanine offering panoramic views and different ambiances, this is where you will find the cafeteria. The entrance hall for visitors and staff links seamlessly with the central patio. The two committee rooms for consultancy and creativity sessions enjoy the wooded atmosphere of the patio; separated by a moveable partition, they can be joined to form a single room. The auditorium, which can accommodate up to 300 people, is connected directly to the entrance hall.

    The two projecting volumes have been organized around the two main functional hubs:

    – The teaching hub and all the various classrooms

    – The office hubs made up of the ITD and IIM office hub and the teacher/Ph.D. student offices.

    All of the teaching rooms are a block above the students’ entrance hall. The multimedia rooms are mainly found on the first floor, allowing the main classrooms and tutorial rooms to be grouped together and superposed. A green roof with trees provides an area for users to walk. A covered roof terrace can be used as a relaxation and entertainment area for staff. The IIM office hub is on the second floor, with the ITD hub on the last floor.

    Design: Coldefy
    Photography: Epaillard Machado