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Spallis
Reconversion of an industrial district
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Spallis
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Spallis

Saint-Denis , France

2009

Surface

39,000 sqm

Cost of the work

65 M€

Architect

AAAB

Associate architect

Tom Sheehan

Certification

Concours

Reconversion of an industrial district

North of Carrefour Pleyel near Paris,
the former industrial activities zone
to the south of Saint-Denis, from
which it is separated by the A86 motorway,
has begun undergoing a conversion to create
a mixed housing and working district. The
intention is to provide the new ZAC (designated
development area) and the future
metropolitan hub dedicated to creativity and
the digital arts with a social cohesion able
to reconcile employment and living environment.
EDF (electricity board) and the local
authorities organised a competition concerning
these former industrial sites which was
won by Anthony Bechu and Tom Sheehan.
Imposed by regulations, the continuous building
front of this small town within a town
rises up in the form of a thoughtful acoustic
fortification along the bypass and the Boulevard
de la Libération, providing protection
from their inherent nuisances. On the town
side, considerable use is made of indents,
both in plan (porches, passages and steps)
and in elevation (balconies and attics that,
although unusual in this type of programme,
are nevertheless conductive to dialogue with
surrounding housing units) along the three
residential arteries. Technologically revisiting
the surrounding cultural heritage, brickcoloured
fibrous concrete claustras are used
to protect the new work spaces from the
sun. Passers-by can see right through to the
haven of greenery dug out of the heart of
the plot where the inter-company restaurant
and several shared services can be found.
Those using the premises and services are
able to look out over a large landscape with
the capital as a backdrop.
Efficiently lessening the visual impact of the
39,000 square metres of offices that it contains,
its elegant, modular and geometrical
silhouette breaks down the three buildings
into several sequences. This, thanks to an
understanding of the changing needs of the
occupants, has the effect of favouring functional
flexibility. Much like a musical variation,
this architectural partition skilfully incorporates
its own particular scales into those of
the context.

Spallis

Zac Pleyel-Libération ,
93200 Saint-Denis
France