Data Architectes of France won a design competition for the conversion of "la maison du directeur" (the director’s home) of the Sudac factories. The bare brick walls of an apparently ordinary building conceal a space which has been completely transformed and reinterpreted to become a new information centre for Semapa, a state-owned French urban developer.
The excellent condition of the outer walls allowed the architects to limit their work on the outside of the building to cleaning and sanding of the brick, concentrating on transforming the interior of the building. The relatively small surface area of this tall narrow building, with only 120 sqm of floor space, suggested a new overall configuration and organisation of space . A new weight-bearing wall was added to the open space, freed of partitions, to separate the service areas (stairs, bathrooms and technical premises) from the main hall and support a cylindrical volume of clear glass and metal rising into the two upper levels.
The cylinder leaves the ground floor practically free, and at the base of the metal structure a model of Semapa’s urban plan has been suspended, which can be retracted into the cylinder using a stage scenery mechanism in only a few minutes to leave the ground floor entirely free for other events.
Design: Data Architectes
Location: Paris, France
Images courtesy of Data Architectes, photo by Javier Callejas