Fitting in isn’t always easy and poses a significant challenge when trying to literally strike a balance between historic buildings and new construction. Axel Schoenert Architectes (ASA) architectural studio has accomplished that using Corian® Exteriors solid surface customized panels in its renovation of the “Shift,” a Parisian office compound housing co-working spaces.
The project involved three buildings in the heart of the Saint-Lazare railway station district at 54 rue de Londres in Paris, France. The challenge of the undertaking was to transform three buildings from the 1930’s, the 1840’s and the 19th century to provide balanced symmetry and identity in the urban setting while at the same time providing sustainability.
Dynamic District Location
Ideally positioned in the heart of the dynamic district of the Saint-Lazare railway station, the office complex has been entirely restyled and renovated to make it modern, innovative and functional, while importantly respecting its urban environment and its history.
A Balanced Approach
ASA studio used a different approach for each of the three buildings that led to the creation of one new construction and a major renovation and restructuration of two historic buildings.
The main challenge was to give the spaces a balanced symmetry, that was fragmented due to a succession of different architectural and historical sequences, and to provide a strong overall identity, especially for the façade on rue de Londres.
By creating a sculpted 3D appearance, ASA studio wanted to add value and give new life to the imposing façade on rue de Londres. The idea was to use a geometric patterned cladding resembling an Origami, the Japanese art of folding paper.
The Versatility of Corian® Solid Surface
The sequence can still be seen in the alternating voids and solid spaces that distinguish the compound. The outline from South to North sees the facade and a first 6 storey building, a courtyard, a second building (the old mansion) with a plant-filled courtyard, and lastly the old stables. A staircase was built to connect the two structures and streamline the flow of people on the move.
The exterior cladding was developed using Corian® Exteriors customized panels based on Corian® Solid Surface in Glacier White color because of its aesthetic properties, design versatility, durability and cleanability. The proportions reflect the balance of an urban layout and give the building a look of solid mineral, vibrating with light. It is the first façade of its kind ever made in France.
Corian® Exteriors solutions are increasingly used for façades due to their resistance to difficult weather conditions, UV rays and good performance in case of fire. Its homogeneous colour and unique appearance create unexpected and fascinating interactions with light.