A 'coral' clad home for 74 lucky students

Atelier Fernandez & Serres creates interesting scenery at an oceanic observatory in the Pyrénées
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Oceanological Observatory of Banyuls-sur-Mer student housing - Atelier Fernandez & Serres
Oceanological Observatory of Banyuls-sur-Mer student housing - Atelier Fernandez & Serres

As firm believers in setting the aesthetic bar high for the youth our eye will always be caught by some unusual student accommodation. So we're a sucker for this student housing by French architects Atelier Fernandez & Serres  at an oceanic observatory in the Pyrénées.

The Oceanological Observatory of Banyuls-sur-Mer is a coastal science facility that forms part of the Paris-based Université Pierre et Marie Curie. Its purpose, as a European scientific research and training centre, is to accommodate scientists and students from all over the world during short research and experimentation missions.

 

Oceanological Observatory of Banyuls-sur-Mer student housing - Atelier Fernandez & Serres
Oceanological Observatory of Banyuls-sur-Mer student housing - Atelier Fernandez & Serres

Seventy-four residences for travelling students and researchers are concealed behind a pink concrete screen which allows in light and ventilation. The bedrooms are located on the four upper floors of the building while the corridors run lengthways around the edges between the rooms and the facade.

According to Atelier Fernandez & Serres  "The colourful concrete mesh is at the same time a balustrade and a visual filter to the sea" and "provides a wall that guarantees the intimacy of users, bedrooms and walkways." 

 

Oceanological Observatory of Banyuls-sur-Mer student housing - Atelier Fernandez & Serres
Oceanological Observatory of Banyuls-sur-Mer student housing - Atelier Fernandez & Serres

The components of the facade were put together onsite then arranged in irregular patterns to recreate the appearance of coral tentacles. "We developed the facades using a limited amount of distinct shapes," say the architects. "These strands were then assembled in modules according to a simple mathematical algorithm which creates a vibration in the shadows and the matter."

 

Oceanological Observatory of Banyuls-sur-Mer student housing - Atelier Fernandez & Serres
Oceanological Observatory of Banyuls-sur-Mer student housing - Atelier Fernandez & Serres

The architects add that the building "reinvents the relationship between the view and the landscape, and accompanies the building height plan of the city. It reinvents the relationship between the view and the landscape, and accompanies the building height plan of the city."

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