The University of Chicago plans to expand its presence in Paris, France, with a new building expected to open in 2022.
The university says in a news release that the project will double its space in Paris and replace an existing center, which has experienced significant growth in interest and programming since opening in 2003.
The Center in Paris hosts activities across the university, and serves as home to the institution's largest undergraduate study-abroad program, a hub for research and scholarly collaborations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and a focal point for a variety of alumni activities.
The new project will add a theater, laboratory and café, while further connecting the university to one of Europe’s leading centers of culture, education and innovation.
The project will have two interlinking parts: the new UChicago Center in Paris and a mixed-use development not owned or operated by the university. The two parts will be housed in separate buildings connected through shared outdoor space.
New, biodiverse green spaces, public art, and the visual and material dialogue between the buildings will invite mixing between the university and greater communities while weaving together the site and its context both physically and intellectually.
The architects are Studio Gang, a Chicago-based firm led by architect Jeanne Gang, and PARC Architectes, a Parisian firm.
The site of the Center’s expansion is part of one of Europe’s leading civic projects, which focuses on developing former industrial sections of Paris’s Left Bank. The larger civic project is anchored by the French National Library and includes leading higher education institutions such as Paris Diderot University, the National Institute for Oriental Languages and Civilizations, IAE Paris - Sorbonne Business School, laboratories that are part of the National Center for Scientific research, and Station F, the world’s largest incubator and start-up campus.
The expansion project will support the University of Chicago's distinct approach to study abroad. Unlike traditional programs at many universities, which focus on language instruction and cultural enrichment, UChicago undergraduate programs in Paris and around the world represent a deeper and broader model for study abroad—one that combines cultural immersion and exploration in a variety of fields, ranging from history to neurobiology to mathematics.
The existing Center in Paris, situated two blocks from the expansion project site, will close after the new building is completed.