SOME PLACES INSPIRE A FRANK BRUTALITY. THEY ARE A MIX OF CONCRETE, STEEL, STONE, UNTOUCHED LAND, SHADOWS, NOISE, SOOT... THIS ONE IS SURROUNDED BY THE RING WAY, WAGONS, MACHINERY, FACTORIES, PARKING AND SUBSTANDARD HOUSING.
The building regroups workshops dedicated to the maintenance of the Parisian subway transportation system that were previously dispersed in different places. Employees gather to the building and get prepared before being oriented towards damaged rail tracks. Each of the building’s five floors hosts a different activity and program, the first floor is a warehouse, the second floor is filled by lockers, the third floor is a classroom, the fourth floor is for management, the fifth floor welcomes a restaurant with a large terrace offering an overlooking views towards the Parisian ring road.
The five floors of the building are arranged and organized around a central convivial staircase. We designed that staircase as an amazing interior procession. All other circulation spaces are designed as playful additions to the building’s main structure: footbridges, staircases and aerial lifts create a multidimensional atmosphere with various spatial experiences.
As the work is hard, the lockers room is designed to be a welcoming and relaxing place, where the combination of washbasins, soap dispensers and mirrors with a colorized background recalls friendly smiley faces.
The project is crowned by a contemporary tripod helix. This tripod is in fact a combination of the vertical chimney and the outside lighting for the car parks and the surrounding areas the building. It also provides heating to the sanitary water with its large surface of solar panels.
This strong element is a sign of the architect’s engagement to environmental convictions. It proves that the French ‘HQE’ label can also be interpreted with fun.
Through delicate reaction to the site, and careful organization of the circulations and access point, we intended to assess the building as a ‘worker’s palace’ instead of a banal utilitarian building. We could easily imagine the head of this submarine bursting through the ice…
Material used :
- Concrete Lafarge Agilia self-compacting (unpainted)
- galvanized steel for footbridges, exterior lightning and railings
- aluminium round-shaped windows
- ceramic floor tiles
- Orange paint (satin)