LAVAL – The Paris-based firm Périphériques continues to articulate its voice in developing neighbourhoods with the opening of an office building in Laval. Featured previously for a library on the island of La Réunion and a residential block in Paris, they are well-accustomed in the design of intriguing facades.
The 2000 sq-m office block hosts offices of different backgrounds and medical facilities as France moves towards a strong start-up culture with innovative and creative companies. The architectural scene follows this as well with a growth in interesting work space design.
The central courtyard takes up a generous amount of the built area connecting the floors and the roof terrace with a floating exterior staircase. The circulation goes around this inner courtyard with the offices on the outer layer facing outward.
In this block dubbed la Licorne – translating to the Unicorn – gold and yellow fill the interior and overflow onto its exterior cladding. ‘We like to design buildings that create different atmospheres inside and outside,’ explains David Trottin, co-founder of the firm. The linear language of the exterior is mildly kinetic. The façade is designed based on the sun path, with an array of perforated metallic fins layered in criss-cross patterns.
The dual toned elements give off a golden glow to the building. ‘The façade is meant to be surprising, dynamic and appealing to the passer-by,' continues Trottin. In the courtyard-facing façade, wooden slats were preferred to give off a certain kind of intimacy for a peaceful time amongst employees and visitors.
The interior follows the trend of office spaces today where transparency and flexibility are virtues. The rooms have a certain modularity to them aiming at giving the best conditions for light infiltration, circulation and privacy. Workers can choose the size of each room based on their individual needs, but always maintain a connection amongst the other spaces and the exterior.