The new Institute of Neurobiology is situated along the Mediterranean in Marseille, France. The site faces out to the sea and is anchored towards the Calanques. The new institute lays in the borderline of the block structure of the university campus.
The projects organization is clearly defined in context to the existing campus and surrounding landscape. The different elements are carefully composed letting the building and its landscape merge into one unit. An open-air inner patio is encircled with the institution’s more public functions.
The construction site is carved out by using wire-saw technique leaving the revealed limestone visible in some of the walls and floors. The limestone is furthermore sliced into thinner tiles and used as façade-elements on parts of the building. Other building materials are regional stone, rendered plaster in earth tones and glass façades that form a dialog between the local culture and modern design.
The main outdoor stair defining the edge of the institute courtyard is aligned on axis with the mountain, “le Puget”. The stair gentle leads the visitor trough the complex. Organizationally you will find the research facilities “lifted up” and aligned with the orientation of the campus quad.
The facilities are also oriented to take advantage of local climate factors. North facing laboratories and south facing offices take advantage of natural lighting and use wooden louvers as integral sun shading device.