Serpentine Office Building by Manuelle Gautrand Architecture
CITE DES AFFAIRES, Office Building in Saint-Étienne
Manuelle Gautrand Architecture
In an area undergoing redevelopment, the office building in Saint-Étienne houses various public services as well as several leisure facilities. Constructed using opaque and glass rectangular panels, the center features a set of connected buildings that are glazed on all three sides of their faces, while the fourth is yellow. The architects envisioned the structure to resemble a sort of ‘Aztec serpent’ in the design’s fluidity and appearance. The facade mimics silvery translucent scales, while the bright yellow serves as the serpent’s underbelly.
The contrasting yellow faces of the structures become canopies over the pavement, while simultaneously highlighting the entrance portals. The sporadic window placement within the yellow allows for sunlight to penetrate the building from every angle. The glass facade, with its seemingly random placement of opaque panels, creates incredible exposure for the exterior.
Yet, it is the contrast between the glass facade and the effulgent yellow faces that make for the most remarkable aspect of the project.
photos © Vincent Fillon and Philippe Ruault, courtesy of e-architect
information © Manuelle Gautrand Architecture and e-architect
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