Prompted by the extension of the T2 tram line to La Garenne–Colombes on the outskirts of Paris, the project takes advantage of the opportunities that this fast new connection to the nearby business district of La Défense will bring. Comprising three sustainable office schemes, the landmark development will be a bold new symbol of the area, its facilities conceived to benefit the whole community.
A striking new office scheme, 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. The southern and westerly facades address the grand scale of the boulevard, softening into tiered terraces towards the neighbouring school and new public space 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. A second, linear office campus re-defines the entire 630-metre street frontage along the Route Nationale, establishing a new, tree-lined boulevard in the Parisian tradition that strengthens the link with the business district. The massing respects the scale of the residential streets behind, while animating the boulevard with ground level shops and cafes.
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.
Facts + Figures
- Appointment: 2007
- Completion: 2014
- Area: 38,000m²
- Client: Sefri-Cime
- Collaborating Architect: Arte-Charpentier Architectes
- Structural Engineer: Terrell
- M+E Engineer: CEE
- Additional Consultants: IOSIS, Elioth, Elioth Facades, Arte-Charpentier Architectes, Davis Langdon Schumann Smith, Avel Acoustique
Insitu structural concrete façade, insitu concrete columns and beams, with pre-cast concrete floor planks ('dalles alveolaires').
Where the building spans over a 20m wide pedestrian passage, the structural façade effectively becomes a 5 storey high perimeter beam, with structural concrete fin walls embedded in the core picking up the loads in the centre.
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