We chat to two people who have played a central role in the construction of the Paris Saint-Germain Campus: architects Wilmotte & Associés and the Builders & Partners group.
Cyprien Descamps is an architect at Wilmotte & Associés and Thibaud Lambert is Operations Manager for the Builders & Partners group.
How did you come to be involved in the Paris Saint-Germain Campus project?
Cyprien Descamps: As a state-qualified architect working for Wilmotte & Associés, who designed the architecture for the Paris Saint-Germain Campus, I was lucky enough to be named project manager for the final design phase of this ambitious project. I was in charge of managing and coordinating the team, along with the other project managers. The team was made up of 15 architects and more than 10 engineering consultants and specialists (landscaper, acoustician, lighting engineer, health and safety inspector, etc.).
Thibaud Lambert: I became involved when I joined Builders & Partners, who were already working on the project. Along with my colleagues, I am in charge of managing the construction project and coordinating the various companies working on the site.
What is your role?
Cyprien Descamps: We have to coordinate Paris Saint-Germain’s functional requirements while providing high-quality architectural and technical solutions within a given financial budget.
Thibaud Lambert: Our role involves ensuring that the companies that are carrying out the building work do so in accordance with the commitments they have made, and that the schedule set by Paris Saint-Germain and the quality standards – both architectural and technical – are respected. All while coordinating the interactions between the different companies and making sure the whole project stays on schedule. It is like a conductor’s role but within a building project, and is vital for a project of this size!
In what ways is the construction of the Paris Saint-Germain Campus a challenge?
Cyprien Descamps: The sheer scale of the project is highly unusual, with three different complexes on 74 hectares, each made up of 16 different types of building. The main challenge was not to lose this notion of scale. During the study phase, we drew up the schedule with Paris Saint-Germain’s stakeholders, so during this time we met a lot of people. This enabled us to design a campus that is the only one of its kind in the world, like a small town that produces its own energy, with its own logistics flow, maintenance, etc. Another challenge was the completion deadline, which was very short for a project of this size!
Thibaud Lambert: The Campus is a challenge in many ways. Its size, of course, as this building site is one of the largest currently in progress in the Île-de-France. Also because of its diversity, as the project is made up of so many different types of buildings (sports facilities, offices, accommodation, changing rooms, classrooms, reception areas, technical facilities, stands, etc.). The standards are also extremely high, both due to internationally-renowned architects Wilmotte & Associés and to having a client like Paris Saint-Germain, who wants to provide its teams with an outstanding tool that fulfils the sky-high objectives the club sets itself!
Given your role as managers on the ground, you have seen the project gradually come to life. We imagine you are looking forward to when it opens, in summer 2023?
Cyprien Descamps: Yes, we are looking forward to completing the building work which, step by step (landscaping, structures, façades, final touches) is unveiling the project designed with Paris Saint-Germain. It is truly satisfying for us to see the volumes of the constructions, which are quite surprising, especially in terms of the views of the outside. We are very eager to see the centre open, as it will conclude several years of studies and building work. Our greatest satisfaction is having a client discover that their project fulfils all of the objectives they had set.
Thibaud Lambert: Absolutely! For four years now, this campus has been part of my daily life. There is still a lot of work to be done before it’s finished, but when I look back at the photos I took on my first site visit, it makes me realise that we have more work behind us than ahead of us! The joy and pride we will feel when we deliver this project will match the huge commitment of the Builders & Partners staff.