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Prime Minister lays the foundation stone for the new ENS Paris-Saclay building

On 14 March 2017, French Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve and Secretary of State for Higher Education and Research Thierry Mandon officially opened the construction site for the new ENS Paris-Saclay building.

Official opening of the building site

The prime minister stressed Université Paris-Saclay’s considerable potential, saying that its establishment “enables much closer and more fruitful collaboration between academic institutions, between public research and private research, and between large companies and SMEs”.

To illustrate the high ambitions for the new university, he foretold future graduates saying “‘I went to Saclay’ just as today they might say ‘I went to Harvard or Cambridge’”. This project would give them the means to achieve “their goals and encourage their plans” so as “to let the French science of tomorrow shine”.

A new building to reflect the School’s vision

The site’s official opening marks the start of construction, which should see the School move to the district of Moulon in Gif-sur-Yvette in 2019.

Underpinning the architectural design for the building by Renzo Piano Building Workshop is the desire to “build the ENS of the 21st century,” as the School’s president Pierre-Paul Zalio said in his speech. The design underscores the importance of interdisciplinarity and the fundamental interconnection between teaching and research in the School’s approach. The School’s move to Saclay is a further step in the construction of Université Paris-Saclay.

“The School will contribute its specific features, pool its strengths with others, hybridize its practices and add a touch of cultural and humanist ambition,” Professor Zalio stressed.