Where economy meets ecology: Green Office ® Enjoy
Green Office® ENJOY is the first office block in Paris to produce more energy than it consumes. The surplus comes courtesy of the 1,950m² of solar panels installed on the roof of the building, itself constructed largely from wood. This ability to generate 23% more energy than is needed to run it forms an integral part of the concept behind the sustainable design developed by Baumschlager Eberle Architects and SCAPE, whose definition of sustainability encompasses a range of values: technical, architectural and, above all, human.
The decision to choose a renewable building material in the form of wood was made on sustainability grounds, but also for pragmatic reason. Straddling a railway line in Paris’s Clichy-Batignolles quarter, the site demanded the lightest-weight construction method possible. This is where the wood came into its own, being easy to use in the building process. Above Green Office® ENJOY’s baseplate rises a classic beam-and-post structure of glued spruce and pine laminate, its floors made of cross-laminated pine. As for the façades, they are constructed using a solid timber frame with sterling board (OSB) and mineral wool, and finished with aluminium cassettes.
Acting as a natural carbon store, the structure’s 2,700m³ of Scandinavian and Austrian timber hold 520 tonnes of CO2, while the construction process expended 2,900 fewer tonnes of CO2 than a conventional building project.
More than just a technical solution, the choice of wood also brings a natural feel to the building, where users are able to enjoy the special atmosphere created by its visible presence. There is no need to venture into the 17,420m3 of versatile working space to appreciate this effect for the open foyer area is wood-clad and provides a clear view through to the green space in the open courtyard, which represents 15% of the total site area.
Architecture and planning
This compact structure has more to offer, however, than its undeniable ecological credentials. Baumschlager Eberle Architects and SCAPE have broken with the closed frontages of the classic Paris perimeter block development, creating a boon for both users and passers-by and lending the surrounding area an open, transparent feel. The architects have also succeeded in positioning the structure so as to emphasise the north-western entrance to the quarter without the need for grand gestures and in giving it a three-winged footprint which, on one side, opens its arms to the railway station and its incoming trains. Passengers arriving at the station are greeted by an urban sculpture, its strong vertical elements echoing the traditional architecture of Paris just as its cream-coloured aluminium façade reflects the sky.