Text description provided by the architects. It was in 2006, in response to an invitation to tender announced by SAEM Val de Seine Aménagement, that the project for the construction of offices in Rue Emile Zola was awarded to Mateo Arquitectura. Under the contracting authority of VINCI immobilier d’entreprise and NEXITY entreprises, a twofold issue was addressed: redefining the periphery of the street block and constructing office buildings on a 15,000 sqm site overlooking the Seine, on floodable ground. Josep Lluís Mateo, the project manager, seeks in each of his works to transcribe a form of vibration, revealing an almost organic nature in the structure. Accordingly, the Factory is designed to present an alternation of built and empty space, shadow and light, comprised of materials that are at once powerful and lightweight, creating a multiplicity of atmospheres and intensifying the solid appearance of the building.
Sustainability as a priority: Acoustic comfort, visual comfort, the quality of the outdoor spaces and the integrated choice of eco- sustainable construction products, systems and techniques are all factors that have guided architectural and aesthetic considerations. The building meets the requirements of the RT 2005 standard (Thermal Regulations), the most evident manifestations of which are the use of natural materials (aluminium, zinc, Corten steel, concrete and wood), insulation in the exterior, a green roof of hardy succulents, the integration of a natural smoke extraction system and the presence throughout of daylight.
Functional, flexible spaces: With the mission of accommodating work spaces, the Factory is designed to adapt to all kinds of businesses, with its flexible all-purpose spaces that are at once creative, exciting and serene. With wide open spaces on the outside and considerable areas given over to light and plants, the levels of the Factory offer prime working conditions. Spaces of a kind unseen in Parisian buildings have been imagined on level 2, around an inner courtyard, and on levels 3, 4 and 7, where outdoor terraces overlook the private garden. For the utmost in convenience, there are also conference rooms, a “marketing suite”, a restaurant and underground parking for 250 vehicles.
A building fully integrated into its environment: The Factory seems to blend into its environment. The main façade, overlooking the street, welcomes pedestrians, protecting and enveloping them in its central fold. The porch that opens up at the foot of the building, communicating the wings to left and right, runs through the city block and provides access to the private garden and the surrounding blocks of dwellings. The great windows enclosing the offices serve to draw daylight and vegetation into the spaces. Finally, the sloping roof adapts to the heights of the adjacent buildings and enhances the dynamism of the vanishing point.
Unsuspected cutting-edge technology: Technology has a strong presence in the Factory, though it is subtly handled by the architect. In terms of construction, the actual façade of the building is load-bearing, and the car park, built in the basement, on floodable ground, is completely hermetic thanks to a system of diaphragm walls. Technology is also introduced in the technical installations, and in the air-conditioning. Cooling production takes the form of a sub-station connected to the urban cooling network, completely concealed by the slope of the building’s roof.