Located in the downtown area of Nancy, the project site is installed nearby several city faculties. Construction of the project allows now all doctoral students to be concentrated in a single building. The project, urban by its position in the city, must resolve the paradox of being visible both by the strength and the quality of its presence, but discreet in its volumes and materials. We sought to strike a balance between the presence of a university building and the careful respect of the neighborhood. The project thus offers an extremely unitary architectural figure, in direct extension of the dimensions of the neighboring buildings. The materials echo the site's industrial past while being local. Concrete, brick, wood and zinc make up the main part of the project and can be supplied within a 50km radius of the project area. Each laboratory is set up by level while the program elements are available from public to private depending on their location in relation to the main entrance of the building and the proximity of vertical circulation. The smallness of the site and the requirement of the programmatic functioning, led us to manipulate the topography of the ground by excavating it and creating a patio. The patio created extends the interior space towards the exterior, and allows users to enter the garden. The patio, linked to the natural terrain by stairs leading to the terrace, offers users the possibility of organizing events outside the building. Outside and inside merge, intertwine and make visible spaces larger than they appear.