Offices along the railways, Clichy-Batignolles district

Non-air-conditioned office building built in a light structure above the railway

The office building designed in the Batignolles district, Paris 17th, is based on a topographical reflection on the scale of the city: positioned above of the void of the railway tracks to the Saint-Lazare station, the building participates in the topographical rupture of this part of the city. At this point, Paris presents a rugged industrial landscape, a relief with large depths and vast empty spaces. This urban geography, a sort of morphological accident of the Anthropocene, inspires the volumetric variations of the building. With its "ribbon" plan, it offers the rails, the street and the park an open façade in response to this large landscape context. Thus, in the manner of a Möbius strip, the exterior and interior spaces intermingle on all sides of the building, allowing a fluidity of use and visual continuity from the exterior, from the ground floor to the roof.

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Offices along the railways, Clichy-Batignolles district bureaux-clichy-batignolles-04

The building reads like a landscape whose horizontal floor lines deform under the effects of internal tectonics. Morphological accidents disrupt its linearity. These movements define, in a dialogue of solids and voids, the relationship of the building to its territory, its attachment to the ground, and its mass.

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Density and compactness create a flexible and modular building, whose façades are clad with a terracotta facing. This enveloppe becomes alive and its expression changes according to the direction, the light and the sky. All the façades are designed with the same care, their continuity is like a skin: homogeneous and without rupture.

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This succession of ribbons runs throughout the building, accentuating its horizontal lines, like a sedimentation. On the upper floors, the levels are detached from each other like superimposed ribbons: their inflections and shifts lead to a stratification that naturally accommodates a succession of planted terraces while avoiding any significant views into another office.

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Offices along the railways, Clichy-Batignolles district bureaux-clichy-batignolles-07

There is no air conditioning here. The offices are cooled by water at ambient temperature which circulates in the slabs. The ceiling fans make it possible to gain a few more degrees of comfort. The search for structural and energy frugality has shaped the architecture of the project and characterised the atmosphere of the interior spaces.

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Location

Paris 17th

Client

Emerige, BNP Paribas Cardif

Area

24,200 m²

Team

Barbanel (HVACS), Khephren (structure), Alto Ingénierie (Hqe), Dal (costing), Ceef (façade), Hacs (kitchen design), Olm (landscaping)

Associate architects

Brenac & Gonzalez

Cost

€43 M before tax

Phase

Delivered in 2017

Project manager

Tomoko Karakawa

Mission

Survey, arch, oversight

Program

24,200 m² of offices including 1,150 m² of retail space

Certification

Hqe certification excellent level, Plan Climat Parisien

Photos

Camille Gharbi, Sergio Grazia, Takuji Shimmura

Cost

Eiffel Trophy, Steel Architecture Award, Working category Archi Design Club Award 2018, Tertiary category, Nomination Equerre d'Argent 2018 category Activities