FITECO / Colboc Franzen & Associes

© Cécile Septet

Architects: Colboc Franzen & Associes
Location: Changé,
Project Architect: Géraud Pin-Barras
Project Team: Benjamin Colboc, Ulrich Faudry, Manuela Franzen, Jean-Pierre Pommerol, Arnaud Sachet, Aesa Windels
Client: Groupe FITECO
General Contractor: SCI Laval Parc Investissement
Engineering: BETHAC
Structural Engineering: FOISNET- OREBAT
Project Area: 7,005 sqm
Project Year: 2007-2010
Photographs: Cécile Septet

The Public accounting group Fiteco was willing to get its head office and its local branch together in only one area, situated in the suburb of Laval.

The French architecture office Colboc Franzen & Associés decided to go further and to design a single building, so the construction would cost less, the environmental impact of the building would be reduced and the internal organization would be optimized. On the first floor are situated all the common facilities. The local branch settled down on the second floor and the head office on the third and last floor.

ground floor plan

The heart of the building is composed of an atrium, two cores of services (staircase, elevators, restrooms, photocopy room…). Interior is kept in white, floors in light grey; only the setting of the ceiling lights creates a noticeable graphisme. The air conditioning system running all around each floor at the ceiling along the façade, a uniform positioning of the power sockets, and the moveable dividing (non load-bearing) walls give its versatility to the building. Therefore the neutrality of the working environment doesn’t interfere with the worker’s concentration.

© Cécile Septet

The whole building is hatched with a grid (grid unit = 60 cm)

© Cécile Septet

Every little detail follows this implacable rhythm. Only the mirror polished stainless sheets and the reflection glass of the outer shell break with the strictness of the interior that reflects in itself the rigor of the company. The folded envelope offers, all year long, the reflection of the surrounding nature and the changing light of the seasons.

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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "FITECO / Colboc Franzen & Associes" 13 Sep 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 02 Sep 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=77193>

9 comments

  1. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    In low light the exterior is breathtaking and an interesting variant on the suburban business park glass box typology. While I have my doubts how the exterior will age or how approachable it is in harsh light, I cannot bring myself past how beautifully the finished product reflects the obvious design intentions of the architect.

    The interior is the typical modern white wash, materiality void language and the grid, to me, adds little to none. To leave it at just the precise and efficient floor plans would have been enough to express the grid.

    The site plan… lets just leave it at awful.

  2. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    The description of the details seem to be really interesting and the design as a whole is nice. But personally i think it looks if the design is not site specific, it looks as though the building has just been placed upon the site without consideration, and seems to be just alike with other commercial structures on industrial estates around the world, although an eye catching one with what seems to be a very nice entrance…

  3. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    The use of the mirrored stainless steel exterior is absolutely thrilling! Quite a unique idea for an office building as it’s unpredictable and uncontrollable reflections are such a contrast from the rigid and gridded interior design. Reminds me of the fantastic Treehotel that was just recently installed in the a bundle of treetops in a northern Swedish forest by Tham & Videgard Arkitekter. What a beautiful way to translate scenic environments into the structures!

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