Text description provided by the architects. The Pushed Slab is located between two completely different urban grids: the dense city fabric of blocks and streets in the North and the loose urban fabric in the south with its clear defined and straightforward infrastructure. The design is based on the requested office program and the energy requirements. The project combines proven energy efficiency technologies with individual office floors and outside spaces such as patios, balconies and a garden. The building is highly flexible offering three cores and a central lobby; it can be rented out to one or various tenants without structural changes.
The building is located on a former rail embankment of approximately 4.000m ². The volume follows the site restrictions, a slab shaped volume of 150 m long and 21 m wide. An opening in the volume preserves the view of a historic building. To create this urban window and to enhance the urban quality of the neighbourhood, the slab is “pushed” until it breaks, then twisted and pushed to the south. This pushing act creates a distortion of the floors, offering multiple terraces which can be directly accessed from the work areas as well as from the external staircases. The urban window offers a large terrace on the second level. The terrace and the balconies are furnished with trees planted in large pots, offering employees a friendly environment to relax.
The building has two faces: a calm side in dialogue with the urban fabric of the north side of Paris, and a more dynamic side facing south, rectangular to the boulevard. The building is wrapped in a skin of wood. The windows form a rhythmic ribbon, offering optimal sun and light control of the inner spaces. To contribute to the sustainable development and taking the impact of deforestation into account, FSC certified wood is used.
Winy Maas, principal architect and co-founder of MVRDV, says “Pushed slab is an exemplary combination of high energy efficiency, economic reality and architectural quality. This emerged from an ambitious client, ICADE, and a city with a long term vision. The added demand of a preserved view line gave the project its exciting shape, it now respects the surrounding neighbors and it opens up its heart for a collective meaning” .
The “Pushed Slab” is the first realization of Paris’ first eco-quarter. 264 photovoltaic panels on the roof will generate 90 MW/year and a grey water circuit will be applied. 22 solar thermal collectors will generate 45% of the energy needed to heat the water. Sun blinds are integrated in the south facade and in the cuts. The building is insulated from the outside in order to reduce thermal bridges. The accumulation of these proven reliable techniques results in a highly efficient low-energy building which leads to an energy consumption of 46 kWh per m²/year achieving a BBC Effinergie energy label and complying with the objectives set out in the “Plan Climat de la ville de Paris”.
The building is designed by MVRDV in cooperation with local architect North by North West, in a joint effort with the engineering and advisory firms Arcoba (Saint Denis), Terrell, Vanguard, Alto and contractor Eiffage Construction, and interior design firm Métope Architectes on behalf of Banque Populaire.