Institut de Biologie StructuraleGrenoble / France


The Institut de Biology Structurale is located in the city of Grenoble in the french Alps, 45 minutes from the international airport of Lyon Saint Exupery, 2 hours from Geneva and Turin. Paris is 3h away by TGV rail link.

The IBS is situated on the European Photon and Neutron (EPN) campus together with its European partners, the EMBL (European Molecular Biology Laboratory), the ESRF (European Synchrotron Radiation Facility), and the ILL (Institute Laue-Langevin). This unique site provides access to state of the art equipment to analyze biological systems at different scales of resolution.

The current IBS building was inaugurated in 2014. This building brings together16 groups and 9 platforms. In addition 2 groups, 3 platforms and the Mixed Service Unit ISBG are located in the Carl-Ivar Brändén Building (CIBB).

New building

After 18 months of construction, IBS staff moved to the new IBS building on the fall 2013.

Built on the EPN Science Campus in the heart of Giant, the new building offers a unique environment for the 250 researchers, technicians, PhD and pos-docs with 5600m2 of laboratories, platforms and offices dedicated to structural biology. It also hosts new teams or start-up companies.
February 21, 2014 saw the official opening of the new building funded by local and regional authorities within the framework of a CPER contract (Contrat de Projets Etat-Région) and the Plan Campus.


How did the project get off the ground ?

This steady growth of IBS made it necessary to envisage an expansion of the building and was accompanied by a desire for closer proximity to the other PSB institutes. The new location allows the gathering on a single site of expertises and cutting-edge platforms in integrative structural biology. It constitutes a further step in the development of the region as an International centre of excellence for structural biology.

  • 08/2007 - 06/2008 Initial phase launched by Eva Pebay-Peyroula (location, funding, specifications)
  • 07/2008 - 07/2010 Technical Design, selection of the architect, studies, building permit
  • 07/2010 – 01/2011 Writing specifications, calls for tenders, orders
  • 03/2011- 04/2013 Excavation, structural work and technical fittings
  • 04/2013 - 06/2013 Furnitures installation
  • 07/2013 Inspections
  • 09/2013 – 10/2013 Moving


The project was funded by contributions from Rhône-Alpes region, Grenoble Alpes Metropole, the city of Grenoble, the General Council of Isère within the framework of a CPER contract (Contrat de Projets Etat-Région) and the Plan Campus, the CNRS, the CEA and Grenoble’s Joseph Fourier University.

Involved in the construction

  • Building owner : CEA
  • Project manager : Joseph Sedita helped by Florence Bonnet (CEA technical services)
  • Architect : Cabinet Nickl & Partner Architekten

Key figures

  • 5 623 m² usefull surface
  • 5 500 m3 of concrete, 300 tons of reinforcing steel
  • 8 000 electrical plugs, 1 500 RJ45 plugs ; 75 km RJ45 cables
  • Air conditioning / ventilation : 203,000 m3 air stirred every hour
  • 12 500 m² of walls and insulation
  • 28 000 m² # 14 tons of painting

General view of EPN science campus

Official inauguration

After 18 months of construction, IBS staff moved to the new IBS building on the fall 2013. February 21, 2014 saw the official opening of the new IBS building.

The opening ceremony was attended by the French Minister for Higher Education and Research, Geneviève Fioraso, the president of the Rhône-Alpes region, Jean-Jack Queyranne, the President of Grenoble Alpes Metropole, Marc Baïetto, the Deputy Mayor of Grenoble, Jérôme Safar, the Vice President for Economic Development and Tourism in the General Council of Isère, Christian Pichoud (representing Andre Vallini, President of the General Council) and the President of the combined Universities of Grenoble, Bertrand Girard. The directors of two French national research agencies, the CNRS and the CEA, and Grenoble’s Joseph Fourier University, were also present in their capacities as funders and supporters of the new IBS project.

Photo Gallery

Photos of the interiors

Main entrance
The main entrance provides ample opportunity for scientists to meet and share ideas and opens on the seminar room
Seminar room
Atriums with walkways on each floor
Laboratories facilities offer large open spaces. Shared rooms (storage, noisy equipements) can be found in the center of the building

Photos of the building site

Eté/Summer 2013
Fev/feb 2013
Jan. 2013
Dec. 2012
Nov. 2012
Oct. 2012
Sept. 2012
Aout/August 2012
Juillet/July 2012
June 2012
May 2012 : structural work completed
March 2012 : last floor almost completed
View from the future EPN site entrance)
February 2012 : elevation of 3th and 4th floors
January 2012 : View from Martyrs Avenue
View from EPN Campus
Dec 2011 : beginning second floor
NMR spectrometers room
Nov. 2011 : View from Martyrs avenue
Beginning of the first floor seen from EPN Campus
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011 : the work for fondations is undergoing
August 2011 : cranes and fence ready
June 2011 : implementation of water and electicity networks
concrete blocks for future fence
May 2011 : panorama
May 2011 : woodcutting
May 2011 : terrassement
April 2011 : initial phase completed
March 2011 : demolition and removal of rubble