Seeking to strengthen the notion of community on the campus of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, the design for the Grand Morillon Student Housing is shaped by carving out spaces for students, professors, and the public to come together. The project consists of two wings of 4- to 9-story buildings, the layout of which shields the residents from invasive street noise and disturbances while introducing a central green thoroughfare for pedestrian and bicycle access. The volumes of the buildings are playfully offset from each other, creating opportunities for gathering areas in green spaces at the roof and ground levels. A diverse program of interior and exterior athletic facilities, library, café, and retail space are placed adjacent to the central green corridor, introducing possibilities for the residents of the housing as well as visitors and community members to meet and interact. Material transparency at the ground levels link the interiors to the central green channel, expanding the visual limits of these public areas and encouraging possible informal encounters. Further communal areas for residents themselves are introduced adjacent to the main vertical circulation routes such as stairwells and elevator shafts. In the upper levels, several typologies of living quarters where developed to support the needs of different types of students: studios for individuals, shared suites, and apartments for families. A system of wooden screens on the façade acts as a second skin, protecting the interior spaces from noise, sun, and unwanted views. The screens are user-controlled at each residence, imparting a dynamic play of shadow and transparency on the façades of the complex.
SITE: Geneva / Switzerland
SIZE: 24,000 m²
CLIENT: Graduate Institute in Geneva