The Ring around the Patio
Compact and modular, the new HQE and BBC-Effinergie certified building of the National Centre for the Universal Employment Services Check (CESU) – affiliated to the Loire URSSAF - is exemplary from energy viewpoint. It is the result of a rare collaboration between the developer (Cirmad Grand Sud), the contractor (GFC Construction) and the designer Michel Rémon. Their combined talents won the competition launched by the client thanks to a global offer that was as ergonomic as it was economic.
"I designed this building, with a central patio for relaxation and offices that all open onto the exterior façade, to encourage group living," states Michel Rémon. "Its thermal and acoustic insulation and its natural light even in stairwells, are factors of comfort for the 200 employees who process 1.6 million letters per year and who answer calls from the public throughout the day."
The main façade on the north does not require solar protection on the outside and thus displays the nobility of a smooth, broad plane with alternating positive and negative spaces. On its right, the personnel entrance is indicated by an elegant orange soffit. On its left, the large public reception hall "raises" the white line around the north face of the building to make room for large vertical windows. Planting on the south and west façades has been added to this external skin. Trellises, placed one meter from the wall to facilitate their upkeep, provide support for climbing plants. Their deciduous leaves provide the necessary shade in summer, and fall in winter, letting light in... . Thus, each façade dialogs with the cosmic order and with the urban order of the new district.
"The plans were designed to make the building extremely modular. A future life with uses is possible: each level can be recomposed in a traditional way, with a 1.50 m central circulation space and 5.50 m deep offices on either side."