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Cité Internationale du Grand Morillon, Student Housing in Geneva

Geneva/ Switzerland

Size/ 24,000 m²
Competition/ 2017, international competition
Status/ Proposal
Client/ The Graduate Institute of International Development Studies in Geneva
Collaborating Architect/ ITTEN+BRECHBÜHL International SA
Visuals/ Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

Our aim was to create a 24,000 m² housing community, that will offer international students and users the best possible framework for their work and living. We wanted the architecture to offer a relaxed and pleasant environment where openness, dialogue and knowledge sharing characterize the atmosphere. The simple gesture of embracing the inner garden to create a community has been the guideline for all other design decision in regards to placing the functions, the architectural expression and choice of materials.

The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies is a post-graduate university located in Geneva, Switzerland. In academic and professional circles, the school is considered one of Europe's most prestigious institutions

The basic layout of the program is based on creating a flexible system that allows distribution of the four dwelling-typologies in separate buildings or as a mixed program distribution. And focusing on public functions and activities on the ground floor towards the garden, such as small shops, laundry, study hall, offices, fitness, recreation facilities etc. to create a strong link between social and outdoor space.

The inner garden is a softly shaped landscape that contrasts the sharply defined buildings. Groups of apple- and nut trees ensures a green profile that creates natural shade during summertime and serves as a platform for gathering – a garden for activities and casual encounters.

Environmentally our ambition was to achieve LEED Platinum. We create responsibly and have a holistic approach towards creating architecture. In this particular project, the four cornerstones are the environment, society, architecture, and economics.

Inside materials and daylight quality play an important role, therefore materials are chosen to create a robust but tactile environment. A background that is simple and robust to accommodate many different ways of inhabiting the spaces. The interior of the apartments shows a combination of concrete floors and ceilings and wooden walls. Common facilities are primarily clad in wood also on floors. We believe that “warm” materials creates a nice feeling of being home and supports the desire to spend time together.

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