Construction of a building development principally for offices
Hardel+LeBihan’s project consists of the demolition of an existing building and the reconstruction of a new development primarily destined for offices, creating some 30,000m2 of floor space over seven levels (G+6).
The project responds to considerations of scale in relation both to the town of Malakoff and to the block in which it is sited. The varied urban fabric of Malakoff incites consideration of surrounding buildings, distances, views and orientation within the morphology of the building. The result is a plan in the form of a W, with the gable walls linking with the adjoining buildings, and the centre of the block set back to allow for central landscaping.
On the street sides, the building is structured by a slightly pleated facade, sitting almost on the edge of the plot. This avoids the frontality of a long, linear facade. These folds also provide a variety of views and levels of sunlight for the occupants.
The structure is externally insulated and overclad in brick. This warm, robust and durable material is traditionally seen in buildings of all scales in the area. Brick was a natural choice and helps the development to blend into its urban surroundings. On both the street and garden side, brick unifies the ensemble.
T/E/S/S was responsible for the studies and design of the windows in the different configurations and for the brickwork studies for the cladding and detailing. The architectural ambition was to design a ‘rough’ building envelope composed of brick overhangs and lintels around windows of two or four glazing panels.
The depth of the windows is expressed in the crenelated brickwork in the overhangs and lintels with bricks suspended vertically. Combined with the elegant pleating, the brickwork around the windows is marked on the street side, while on the garden side it is more subtle, combined with balconies and assuming a more domestic language in line with the neighbouring buildings. The gable walls are also clad in brick.
The windows are in aluminium and wood and are openable so as to ensure comfortable ventilation for users and allow for cleaning access from the inside. On the street side, the inward-opening windows sit on a glazed spandrel panel for maximum glazing. On the garden side, full-height windows give access to continuous balconies. The latter also provide efficient solar shading on the south-facing facades. All windows are equipped with internal blinds.
The faceting of the facades has an impact on the width of the windows, requiring optimisation of the frames in order to respect the fire access regulations and the regularity of the uprights. The incorporation of smoke evacuation openings in the window units, as well as the fairly deep brickwork surrounds, necessitated the modification of the support frameworks. The ground-floor windows have aluminium frames in order to meet anti-intrusion requirements.