DESIGNER : Forma6 Nantes France
PROGRAMME : Development of a set of six office buildings as part of the Metronomy Parc urban park project
LOCATION : rue Jacques Brel Block 1 ARMOR Mixed Development Zone Saint-Herblain (Loire-Atlantique department)
CLIENT : Tolefi
MISSION : BASIC
CONTRACTOR : Commissioned architect Forma6 - Structural engineering Betap - HVAC engineering Albdo Quantity - Surveyor Forma6 - Landscape architect Zéphyr - External works Pragma - Interior architect (stairway) Metalobil.
SCHEDULE : Tendering process 2014 - Handover 2017 (Plot 1)
COST OF WORKS : Plot 1: €3,455,000 ex. VAT Roadways and external works: €520,900 ex. VAT
FLOOR SURFACE AREA : 2,600 m² (Plot 1) Total project area: 13,800 m²
A LIVED-IN URBAN PARK:
The development of Block 1 is an integral part of the global urban planning project for the Armor mixed development zone.
Our service will build on the principle of creating a new district featuring a remarkable wealth of green spaces and plant life. This district strengthens the relationship with the local natural heritage (Chézine nature park, network of green lanes throughout the district, etc.) and presents a wealth of new advantages, such as giving the district greater exposure, spearheading a strategy that prioritises the natural landscape and promotes durable, comfortable and easy-living buildings, and finally ensuring an efficient method of operation that can be adapted to each structure.
The project contains five buildings with the same «chromosomic» shape and a flagship building, all of which located in an urban park.
Each building comprises four volumes that are assembled to create four interstitial spaces. A transparent, dual-aspect hall and two patios bring greenery and plant-life into the very heart of the buildings.
The second floor volumes are identical and located in compliance with set-back requirements. This principle ensures greater modularity for the office floor plates.
In terms of materiality, the design plays on the contrast between the hardiness of the hand-moulded bricks and the subtlety of the wood reminiscent of the external environment, between the massive masonry and the light mashrabiya screens, and between the privacy of the office floor plates and the transparency of the hall. The front floors are made from dry bonded bricks in shades of grey to harmonise with the fronts of the mixed development zone, whereas the ground floor is mainly glazed to create a transparent podium while allowing a glimpse into the inside of the building.
The loggias open with a mashrabiya screen effect, which helps maintain the plot’s unity while providing views to the outside and allowing light to filter in.
To ensure that the urban park truly deserves its name, our initial work involved minimising the impact of the buildings and above-ground car parks in order to focus the spotlight on the landscape. The project improves the overall footprint by clustering the buildings with a second floor into five identical units. A sixth flagship building acts as a pavilion at the entrance to the park and serves as an urban symbol and distinctive landmark. In this case, it is proposed as a building with a third floor to accentuate the design’s vertical lines.
The project strikes a balance between solids and voids, the building density and the free spaces. Similarly, in an effort to minimise the footprint and visual impact of the above-ground car parks, over 50 % of the imposed spaces are underground. Planted embankments are used to conceal the other parking places. The decision to create car parks around the outside of the block ensures that the centre is open to pedestrians and reinforces the park’s identity.
The pedestrian route starting at the entrance to the block extends into a small square at the foot of the entrance pavilion and serves as a terrace. Paths lead off from this outdoor social area to the main entrances of each building.
The overall project contains outlying social areas that support the entrance to the block.
The construction is based on a lost rural green grid that has been recreated for the needs of the project and phasing. Trees are planted in copses and/or aligned according to the fictitious lines of the wooded grid and around the car park islands.
The immense central area is turfed and includes earth embankments for managing the excavated material and backfill, and for creating the access ramps to the underground car parks. The lines of the peripheral banks inspired the breaks in volumes and the planted banks. The patios in the centre of the project are adorned with colourful, horticultural species.
«TOLEFI gave us free rein to design the 14,000 m² of office space. Our response was based on a serial design repeating a genetically identical model, eliciting images of a chromosome and cell division, and therefore symbolising life. The use of bricks was the necessary choice as the genetic map for each building. To encourage occupants to engage with the buildings, the central section, hall and staircase will feature the identifying marks of each building.»
The unicity of each building can clearly be seen by a specific feature in each hall, which serves as the junction between the project’s two wings. This mission has been entrusted to the Métalobil team. For the staircase in the first of the six buildings, the look and feel of the wood used outside has been replicated and interpreted in the Kengo Kuma style.
Designer contact : Forma6 17 rue la Noue Bras de Fer BP 4013 44201 Nantes Cedex 2
Telephone: +33 (0)2 40 29 47 25