The Sykpark building was conceived in the highly codified context of producing contemporary office and service spaces. From the outset, the building had to respect the current rigorous design codes (dimensional, functional, programme, commercial…). The building represents a variation on this theme, manipulating the architectural vocabulary established by modern archetypes of the office building.
The program proposes the construction of 15,425 m2 of floor space on seven levels, as the basic structure of the building needs to be able to accommodate, without particular modifications, a head office of approximately 1,200 staff on the entirety of the surface area, and be divisible into independent and separate areas of approximately 350 m2 , able to accommodate all other intermediate configurations. The floors (from 12 to 18m wide) are therefore available neutral spaces. Their anticipated qualities are the optimization of circulation spaces and common services (cores) that relate to the office spaces, which maximise flexibility and adaptability.
The entrance to the Ramassiers neighbourhood in Colomiers, along the ‘Arc-en-Ciel’ ring road constitutes a prime location for an office building. This site has a potential for a strong presence and image that relates to its location in the urban agglomeration, situated in the immediate vicinity of the airport and the industrial aeronautical facilities in the West of Toulouse. This narrow site, with major road corridors on three of its sides, forms a compact footprint and an elongated building.
In order to avoid producing a monolithic, block like building, consisting of homogeneous floors of large open-spaces, we proposed to organize the building using parallel bands, the width of an office space plus circulation space (6.75m), and to then slide and stretch these bands both vertically and horizontally. Thus the building has a "stepped-up" floor plan that organises north or south facing, small-sized workspaces around three vertical circulation cores.
The gradual removal of certain surfaces in the upper floors reveals the band like configuration of the building, while generating terraces accessible from the floors. The ground floor plan organizes, in a fluid way the entrance areas, the reception area and convivial areas.
The form and materiality of the building is based simply on its volume. The uniform northern and southern longitudinal façades are constructed from a curtain wall of dark glass, with anodized aluminium vertical screens, along the north facades, that stretch to form deep ribbed brise-soleil along the southern facades. The gables, formed by successive saw tooth glazed facades, are coated with silver gray anodized aluminium. This rigorous and contrasting arrangement produces a strong and slender volumetric form, whose appearance varies with light, shadows and reflections.
Our work used the potential of the site and the design codes for this type of project to create a strong, precise and rigorous architecture, that is both assertive and accommodating to its site. It proposes a high rating level for building performance (BREEAM very good) and offers its users ample and welcoming reception areas (indoor and outdoor) as well as pleasant, efficient and flexible workspaces.
Architect and client’s relationship
The collaboration between the client team and the design team was based on a rigorous exchange and operational expertise, with direct involvement of the client. The client team (Group 3R, tertiary developer and Toulousan landowner) is a family group led by two brothers who are heavily involved in the production and maintenance of their buildings, hence their particular interest and expertise in the sustainability (and quality) of the implementation and delivery.
Construction system and materials
— Infrastructure: two levels of basement parking (350 spaces) / secant pile perimeter wall and reinforced concrete columns and floors.
— Sealed forecourt on the parking: heavy protection layer of sandblasted concrete poured in situ.
— Superstructure: 7 levels, framework and floors in reinforced concrete (5.40 grid).
— Façades: prefabricated Schüco type framework façade on north and south facade (1.35m grid) / double skin cladding on east and west gables (exterior cladding in anodized aluminium cassettes)
— Inner partitioning: vertical concrete circulation cores in reinforced concrete / modular partitioning for office spaces.
— Polished concrete floor on ground floor and carpets on all other levels.
— False ceiling in metal mesh on ground floor and 135x30 mineral slabs on other levels.