Creating Reflections & Transparencies

For this office building, Barbarito Bancel Architectes create a vertical glass louver facade positioned on a concrete base

Barbarito Bancel Architectes create a vertical glass louver facade

Fact File
Facade Installer: STM Groupe Roger Delattre
Aluminium Cladding: Soprema Entreprises
Supplier: Saint-Gobain Vitrage
Photo credit: Alessandra Chemollo

The project is located in Lille, in the new developing area situated on the banks of the Deûle within EuraTechnologies – the new economic hub dedicated to information and communication technology. The site is open and complex, and integrates into a plural public space, at various scales. It opens to a large entry plaza and faces Blan-Lafont, dominated by its Bell Tower.

Barbarito Bancel Architectes create a vertical glass louver facade

The office space of 1,465 m² is enclosed in a transparent volume that reveals the depth of the block. Flexible workspaces inside a low-consumption building have been created.

The four building facades are exposed to the sun most of the day, with no immediate building proximity. This exceptional situation offers a large view to the surrounding landscape and public areas, as well as illumination throughout the day to the interior spaces. However, the solar intake is controlled to comply with the current energy requirements.

The vertical orientation of the glass louvers is chosen to protect from the southern sunrays and provide large visual perspectives. For the main facades - southwest and northwest - the project outlines the idea of a double skin that naturally creates a transparent and luminous curtain wall, while protecting from the sunrays. The secondary southeast and northeast facades are composed of single walls and alternate surfaces of opaque polished aluminium and glass surfaces, that follow the overall geometry of the inclined glass sunscreens by prolonging the gradual and increasing change of rhythm of the inclined panels.

Barbarito Bancel Architectes create a vertical glass louver facade

Finally, the volume is completed with a more slender attic reaching to the sky. The main entrance of the building opens to the main public space of the district. It fits into the depth of the concrete base and reveals a neat and contemporary entrance lobby, with the use of concrete and wood.

The building core, which groups together the annex spaces and the distribution of the floors, is positioned to the south to protect the main workspaces from sunrays. The internal layout of the building comprising of prestressed lightened concrete slabs combined with an ingenious cooling-ventilation-heating system, is built into the thickness of the structural slab/engineered floor complex. This makes it possible to create a fully modular platform at each level, free of columns and networks.

Visual comfort and luminosity are accentuated by the open view, the wide spaces, and the grey painted concrete ceiling. The evanescent set of glass scales, with elegant proportions and shapes, subtly creates transparencies and reflections fragmented with its environment.