Écotron IIe-de-France Research Center and Laboratory / Atelier Téqui Architects
Text description provided by the architects. The Ecotron IleDeFrance technical platform offers innovative equipment called “Ecolabs” to the research community, designed to handle ecological systems under containment conditions and environmental control. The Écotron Île-de-France platform commissioned for CNRS and ENS research occupies a site dominated by wild natural environments that had to be tamed. The project’s architectural treatment displays the wooden structural statement. Vertical elements lend rhythm to the front by alternating opaque and glazed areas.
The front cladding chosen is thick heat-treated Douglas fir with visible slats that form a pattern that contrasts with the verticality of the upright elements. Its bulk is an additional guarantee for a durable front end. The joinery has extruded aluminum thermal break fittings. External blinds with adjustable slats are provided for all front openings.
They provide sun protection and are used to hide the interior. A simple recess in the volume and dark cladding indicates the bicycle parking area and the glazed facade marks the entrance to the building protected by a simple porch. A wooden boiler provides hot water and heating.
In this natural environment far from the hustle and bustle of the city, the optimal use of wood is made. This material reduces the building’s ecological footprint and improves its blending into its surroundings. The architectural statement mainly leans towards frugality in the use of materials and energy without using a forced, complex demonstration of this rationale. It is a “low-tech” building serving research, sober and minimalist in its statement, open and generous in its layout, spatial organization and clarity.