Vib architecture completed five silos – all made of concrete, rising from the ground surfaced with concrete too – for a cement distribution center, including a quality control building and space for offices, in one of Paris’s muting urban areas.
The project, which transforms an industrial facility into an urban sculpture, is to be considered as the first step of a process to transform the new Bruneseau Nord site.
The initial question for the architects cleary was to insert the project in the coming urban project and bring in “bold design” to the industrial plant.
Although it uses common technical language and fittings, the building has been transformed into a unique work space, dedicated to the material it contains: the silos, the stair tour, the offices, the test center and the ground too, are all made from concrete. The material reveals much of its plastic potential. Not one element that stands out. The project is a whole, it is alive, a sort of abstraction of bodies rising from the ground and attracting each other into one unique place.
For the office and quality control center, the light at either end of the ‘silos’ was not enough for all work spaces. The opening on the shells had to be big enough to bring in light but small enough to keep the mass and the surface. The polygonal shape chosen for these openings was imagined as a form of abstraction of two different ideas: the shape of the stones that are used in making the concrete as one, or a mineral fragment or a broken rock as another.
The vertical lift/stair tower is the most visible piece of the building, that acts as a signal by rising only 5 meters from the ring road. The design for the openings is similar but they were fitted with a simple inox mesh. The architects wanted the openings to widen up and lighten up as the tower rises, in contrast to the main silos in the background.
A work of art, imagined by Laurent Grasso is currently being tested. It will give yet another dimension to this already atypical urban project.