CIRC-IARC Lyon - International Agency for Research on Cancer


Art & Build will design a new headquarters for the International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon.

Furthering their successful innovative approach in the field of institutional architecture, Art & Build have been commissioned following an international design and build competition for the International Agency for Research on Cancer building in Lyon, in partnership with Lyon firm Unanime, technical consultants WSP and Inddigo, and contractors Demathieu Bard.

Having delivered buildings for the Council of Europe, the European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines in Strasbourg, and the European Food Safety Authority in Parma, Italy, Art & Build Architects will now create a new environmental benchmark with the IARC headquarters for the World Health Organisation, a body overseen by the United Nations. The project further reinforces the international status of the Lyon Metropolitan Area.
Calling upon a decade of research and development into biomimetic design, Art & Build draws its inspiration from the extraordinary intelligence and design that nature has itself developed and displayed.
The use of mass timber elements, for which Art & Build has been one of the world’s pioneering firms, will be a major feature in the façade composition. Two further technological innovations are to be incorporated and offer a unique identity to the architecture. Passive solar protection will be ensured by shape memory materials reminiscent of flower petals, and thermo-reactive glazing will become partially opaque to reveal organic motifs. Both techniques are activated solely by the sun’s energy, requiring little human intervention, reducing energy consumption and maintenance costs.
The new building will express the practice’s vision of a profoundly humanistic architecture, creating the conditions for individual and collective fulfilment, adhering to the Well © certification criteria.
With their 30th anniversary approaching, Art & Build’s new project is highly symbolic of their arrival on the international scene.

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