Foster + Partners, working with developer Sefri-Cime and investor SMABTP, has designed three new sustainable office schemes in La Garenne–Colombes on the outskirts of Paris, two of which are under construction.
The masterplan will regenerate the centre of the district, creating a landmark development which will be a bold new symbol of the area, its facilities conceived to benefit the whole community. The project forms part of a wider strategy which includes a new tram route, with associated landscaping, along the Route Nationale. This will strengthen the link between La Garenne-Colombes and La Defense. At ground level, there will be new shops and cafes, new facilities for the local school and new pedestrian links.
The buildings are designed to be highly sustainable and target double HQE certification and BREEAM ‘very good’.
To reduce energy consumption, around half of the large office building’s façade is opaque. The system incorporates innovative pantographic panels at every three-metre structural bay, and the ventilated double-skin to the south and west is complemented by simpler, double-glazed facades to the north and east.
A striking new office building, incorporating shops and cafes at ground level, marks the point where the main boulevard terminates and the road curves towards Bezons. It is designed to be highly permeable: a glazed, full-height atrium bridges the building’s two main volumes and a visual axis links the corner of the boulevard with a new public space in front of the primary school to the rear. The southern and westerly facades address the grand scale of the main boulevard, while the building softens into tiered terraces towards the school at Place de Belgique. The scheme also includes a new gateway building for the primary school, with a music room, meeting rooms, staff facilities and a variety of flexible, multi-purpose spaces.
The linear office campus re-defines the entire 630-metre street frontage of the Route Nationale as it leads north from La Défense, establishing a new, tree-lined boulevard in the Parisian tradition. The buildings’ massing respects the scale of the streets behind, while creating a unified frontage along the length of the boulevard.
Spencer de Grey said:
“Our design for La Garenne–Colombes continues the successful traditions of Parisian urban planning in a modern language to create a thriving mixed-use district with a strong, local identity. The extension of the tram network will inject new life into the area – the project takes advantages of these new linkages, providing a mix of high quality workspace, a landmark office scheme, as well as shops, new public space and a new building for the community.”