Following a design competition held in 2013, a team composed of Piuarch, Stefano Sbarbati and Incet Ingénierie designed the headquarters of IDF Habitat, the French company entrusted with development of social housing in Champigny-sur-Marne, 15 km from Paris. The new building is an important part of the district’s redevelopment programme, referred to as “ZAC des Bords de Marne”, combining top environmental quality and a focus on context with functional efficiency and flexible organisation of workspaces.
In response to the request for a flexible layout that could be changed with time, the architects implemented an interesting design strategy regarding both the construction system, based on a concrete wrapper cast on site with prefabricated honeycomb floor slabs, to free the layout of intermediate supports such as diaphragms and pillars and an L shape concentrating technical installations at the points where the two wings meet and under the floating floor. Lastly, the modularity of the façade with windows 67.5 cm wide set 135 cm apart made it easy to determine the new internal layout. All in a building with a complex shape, of variable height, in which the alternation of solids and hollows in the façade creates a dynamic contrast with the existing buildings and surroundings. So that while it designs and defines the public space of the plaza, at the southwest end it is more compact, with a tight succession of vertical apertures guaranteeing greater shelter from the sun and from noise from the nearby railroad tracks.
Architectural design: Piuarch and Stefano Sbarbati
Structural and plant engineering: Incet Ingénierie
Location: Champigny-sur-Marne, France
Photos: Martin Argyroglo, Sergio Grazia