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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

EDF Archives Centre in Bure-Saudron, France by LAN Architecture

May 5th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal

This building, symbol of the long term and visible presence of EDF in the Meuse and Haute Marne region, hosts the company’s industrial records. Within the framework of the Meuse and Haute Marne economic support programme, EDF has decided to centralise all its intermediary Engineering Production Management archives in Bure-Saudron. Until now, these paper copy archives had been stored in nuclear, hydraulic and thermal production units, as well as in engineering units and associated services.

Exterior View

  • Architect: LAN Architecture
  • Name of Project: EDF Archives Centre
  • Location: Bure-Saudron, France
  • Client: EDF
  • Budget: € 10,1M excl. VAT
  • Photography: Julien Lanoo
  • Software used: AutoCAD, 3ds MAX

Side View

  • Site Area: 3.30 hectares
  • Built up area: 6800 m²
  • Competition: 2008
  • Completion: 2011
  • Team: LAN Architecture (lead architect), Franck Boutté (HEQ consultant), Batiserf Ingénierie (structure), Michel Forgue (surveyor), Base (landscape architects), LBE (utilities)
  • Project Manager: Christophe Leblond

Exterior View

The new centre allows the documents’ organisation and it also ameliorates the storage and the utilisation processes. These archives, on paper-based and microfilm-based formats, will occupy about 70 km of shelves. The building has also a laboratory for micro-films, specifically designed for this purpose.

Exterior View

The concept

We realised a five level, 19 m high building within a plot of 3.30 hectares comprehensive of an archives area covering approximately 1,400 m² and a total surface of approximately 7,000 m².

This approach results in:

– considerable saving in terms of the building’s envelope

– improved functionality translated by a reduced number of kilometres covered per year,

– a marginal impact on the landscape (with view points at a considerable distance from the building),

– the possibility of a maximum use of the excavated land around the building’s footprint to control water recuperation and treatment on the site,

– an energetically and environmentally extremely high performance building,

– the creation of a symbol representative of the approach taken by the Mouse and Haute Marne economic support programme.

Exterior View

The typology

An archives storage building needs to have a considerable inertia with a minimal exchange with its external setting. The need for fast and simple site management and optimum storage efficiency led us to develop a simple and rational layout. The building is divided into 2 programmes: archives and offices.

The archives’ part is composed by 20 storehouses of 200 m² each; with regulated temperature and hygrometry. The blocks can resist fire for 2 hours and they are equipped with a sprinkling system. The offices’ part is N/W oriented, embedded in a natural slope planted with trees and plants. The offices have an ideal view on the surrounding landscape.

Exterior View

The landscape

Tree-planted surfaces give some advantages: from an ecological point of view the trees protect the building against climatic issues. From an aesthetical point of view – and within an idea of landscape integration – they complete the building by inserting a pattern recurring from the landscape: the “merlons”, narrow strips of land planted with hardwoods.


The project of the landscape foresees the framing of the views from the offices by planting vegetable masses. Some framings already exist from the highway in the project’s direction. A game of sequences is set in combination with the architectural plan in order to vary the visuals and to put an accent on the building’s continuity with its landscape.

Exterior View


Heat production is principally based on renewable energies and a heat pump. The choice made for the ventilation was to use a double flow ventilation system with heat recuperation. This limits energy consumption resulting from heating and ensures the good sanitary quality of the air.

Interior View

Low voltage luminaries will result in considerable savings in terms of internal loads. Storage areas will be equipped with presence detectors. The high performance of the envelope combined with economic ventilation and lighting systems reduces energy requirements. The use of renewable energies and a heat pump will result in a high level of energy autonomy.

Exterior View

The total power consumed by the building represents 29 kWh/m².

The building’s envelope

To give the impression of a lightweight building in movement, we proposed incorporating stainless steel studs into the earth-coloured concrete cladding. This solution had the effect of blurring the building’s limits and reflecting the surrounding colours and changing seasons.

Interior View

The envelope has a very high performance resulting from the materials employed and the technology used for attaching the concrete facing (reduced thermal bridges). The combination of two layers of concrete (structure + facing) and insulation (30 cm) ensures that the building has a high level of inertia favouring comfort during the summer and reduces cooling requirements


The facade

The elevations will incorporate a total of 120,000 stainless steel studs. Stainless steel studs (7 cm diameter and 1 mm thick) will be incorporated into the formwork during the casting of the integrally coloured prefabricated concrete elevation panels.

The panels will be 15.65 m high and either 2.26 m or 2.33 m wide depending on whether they are on the long or short side of the building. The 8 cm thick panels will be reinforced with concrete ribbing (+ 7 cm). The complex will be suspended from reinforced concrete walls and held in position using distancing jacks. The elevations will have a total thickness of 68 cm. The facade’s building process was the subject of a patent.

Office View

Side View

EDF Archives Centre

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Categories: 3dS Max, Autocad, Building

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