5th December 2008

New office development opens in Paris

The first building within the Trapeze masterplan at Boulogne Billancourt, in the south-east of Paris a seven-storey office development, designed by Foster + Partners is now complete. The offices occupy a prime position within the mixed-use development and a transparent atrium maintains an important visual link between the river Seine on one side and a new park on the other.

Built on the site of the former Renault headquarters, the building has an expressed white concrete structure, with a steel and glass façade. It is divided between two volumes, connected by a glazed, full-height atrium containing a café and two restaurants for staff. This dynamic space incorporates panoramic lifts and suspended walkways, which appear to float at double-height intervals to allow uninterrupted views out to the river or the park. Above the entrance, giant translucent brise-soleils filter daylight down into the atrium, while a wave-formed geometric façade on the east and west elevations comprise curved vertical panels of alternate translucent and fritted glass.

A rooftop pavilion to the east and the expansive south-facing balconies are accessible from the office floors and take advantage of the riverside location. The 22,000 square metres of interior floor space provides a mixture of cellular and open plan configurations. The internal arrangement is flexible the floor plates can be split either vertically or horizontally to accommodate multiple tenants. A fringe of shops enlivens the ground level and the boulevard between the river and the building has been landscaped to provide a waterside promenade.

Designed with a progressive environmental strategy, the building has achieved a French HQE Excellent rating. The large volume of the atrium and the double-height spaces on the seventh and eighth floors promote natural air flow and the end walls of the atrium can also be opened with an automated system of pivoted glass panels to allow natural ventilation in mid-season.

Grant Brooker, senior partner at Foster + Partners, said: The new office development at Boulogne Billancourt continues our longstanding investigations into the nature of the workplace. We aimed to create a building with a focused and stimulating internal environment, with strong connections to the river and the park.