Perforated shading panels present a dynamic facade for headquarters of the French National Centre for Nuclear Research
In Montrouge, aaPGR architectes have developed an innovative approach to workplace design that creates architectural identity from the bioclimatic principles of natural light, planting, thermal efficiency and acoustic control. Sited along a busy thoroughfare leading into Paris, the three structures that comprise Park Azur shelter a vast 1hectare landscaped garden and provide a haven of peace in a noisy and dense urban environment.
The garden, designed by the landscape architect Philippe Raguin, forms the centrepiece to which the buildings relate, with views organised from all office levels and the ground floor restaurant. In harmony with the Paris skyline and the surrounding urban fabric, six levels of office and ancillary space provide a total of 24,500 sq m floor area.
Office areas are generous with large column free zones that can be freely reorganised to suit the ever evolving team structures of the building’s users, predominantly made up of engineers. As over 60% of the site area is allocated to the garden, all car parking is underground, where there is provision for recharging electrical vehicles.
Generated from studies of the path of the sun throughout the yearly cycle, façades have been designed as a response to each orientation. They have been fine tuned to reduce solar gain with carefully positioned horizontal and vertical fixed perforated shading panels that allow wide views out towards green spaces and high levels of natural lighting within.
Other sustainable design features include heating and cooling terminals using the principles of natural convection, low energy lighting design with multiple sensors and storage of rainwater on site. Choice of materials, waste management and organisation of the 18 month construction period, have met demanding criteria to reduce the environmental impact of the project. As a result, HQE certification (high environmental quality) and BBC certification (low energy consumption) have been attained.
Hailed as a resounding success by the building’s users and project investors alike, Park Azur sets a path towards the next generation of humane and ecologically sensitive working environments that will revitalise the inner ring of districts outside central Paris.