Project Paris, France

EDF Lab Paris-Saclay

Sector: Buildings

After three years of work on the Saclay plateau. BESIX, through the SBX consortium, has delivered the new EDF Research and Development Center, on an ultramodern campus covering 8 hectares, 25 km south of Paris.

Cranes make way for planes

Rising up out of the ground are four circular buildings, the largest of them dedicated to researchers’ workstations. Next to this real estate ensemble, built by the SBX grouping for EDF’s R&D division, a second project will host the EDF Training Campus. Our teams built this real estate project with a total surface area of 120,000 m² and nearly 1,500 workstations for EDF’s Research and Development Division. The site also includes a conference center, a 550-seat auditorium and an underground car park. A specific feature of the site is its proximity to Orly airport. The height of the buildings, along with the cranes used to erect them, is therefore limited to three levels, and the upper part of one of the four buildings had to be completed without a crane. The limitation imposed on lifting apparatus required considerable implementation flexibility by the BESIX teams.

Collaborative working approach

EDF wanted buildings designed to encourage a synergy between research teams. These are grouped on three levels in the largest, circular building, so as to promote both horizontal and vertical mobility and interaction.

”This site represents a new approach to research. Interaction with aca-demic laboratories is encouraged by geographical proximity but also by the fact that two of the EDF Lab buildings are in an open area which is easily accessible to academic researchers. In this way, innovations born in the Campus laboratories will be transferred faster to the EDF businesses. This is what this new site is all about,” says Jean-Paul Chabard, Director of the Saclay Project France Partnerships at EDF Lab.

The buildings in fact have two façades in order to preserve the glass appearance of the outer façade. The second, outside façade, hangs on the railings of the building and appears diffuse. This technique allows in natural light while preserving the building’s acoustics and sensation of floating in air.

Project details

Project name

EDF Lab Paris-Saclay



Contract type

Design & Build


Paris, France


BESIX France


SAS Immobilière du Plateau

Building Period

2013 - 2015


Francis Soler Architecte

Total value

€ 212 million

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