Open side-bar Menu
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.

La Cite des Affaires in Saint-Étienne, France by Manuelle Gautrand Architecture

April 1st, 2012 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: Manuelle Gautrand Architecture

The site is a vital liaison point between the centre of Saint-Etienne and the new Chateaucreux neighbourhood, to which it forms a major entranceway. It also constitutes a pole grouping several government bodies that will set up there : Regional Development Authority, Tax Services, Epora, Saint-Etienne Métropole, and so on. Service and leisure facilities will also be part of the mix: shared corporate restaurant, café, tourism bureau for the metropiltan area.

Image Courtesy Vincent Fillon

  • Architects: Manuelle Gautrand Architecture
  • Project: La Cite des Affaires
  • Location: Saint-Étienne, France
  • Architect Team: Manuelle Gautrand, representative architect, Thomas Daragon, works project manager, Yves Tougard, studies project manager
  • Client: Altarea-Cogedim
  • Photography: Philippe Ruault, Vincent Fillon

Image Courtesy Vincent Fillon

Firms Involved:

  • Structure: Khephren
  • Façade: Arcora
  • Maîtrise d’œuvre d’exécution: Debray Ingénierie

Main Firms:

  • Roofing / Finishings: Pitance-Lamy
  • Metallic framework: Baudin-Châteauneuf
  • Façade : Allouis


  • Surface : 25.000sqm
  • Length : 108 m, width : 43 m, max height. : 34 m
  • Cantilever: 25 m X 20 m without any grounding support
  • Dates : 2005: design constest, 2006-2007 : studies, 2008-2010 : works, delivery : september 2010

Image Courtesy Vincent Fillon

The idea is to develop a long built ‘continuum’ on the site to interact with adjacent streets. A linear construction that rears up and unfolds but also hugs the ground line to form a low accessible building – one that opens spacious courts and lifts bold overhangs.

Each of its large bays serves an access route: the main portal opens to the concourse on avenue Grüner, which draws pedestrians into the project in a sliding movement. A high ceiling shelters and magnifies this entranceway, which is the finest and largest of three. The other two large ‘ports’ open the project to the streets that irrigate the lot, interconnecting pedestrian itineraries in the area.

Image Courtesy Vincent Fillon

Our desire for continuity in construction does not simply reflect the idea of building a legible and unitary urban landmark, it also provides the flexibility that the project needs. In fact, the principle behind this continuum is to imagine a set of ‘communicating parts’ that enable the user-administrations to merge into a whole, one and all, and to evolve according to their needs in harmony with those of other tenants. The absence of breaks in surfaces will ensure that things remain open-ended, with the possibility of extending or reducing space.

Image Courtesy Philippe Ruault

The project is like a large ‘Aztec serpent’ rising on the lot. Its body has three identical outer faces, and an underside that is different: a skin of silvery transparent scales and a bright yellow ‘throat’, shiny and opaque.

This dual treatment of surfaces obeys a simple logic shared throughout, which aims at expressing clarity in folds. Depending on these movements, the yellow underside is either a floating canopy or an interior vertical wall, accompanying internal pedestrian movements with its rich luminous presence. The nearness of so much gorgeous yellow brightens up pavements and glazed elevations, casting golden washes over them like sunlight…This is a project that is about bringing together yellow and grey, silver and gold.

Image Courtesy Philippe Ruault

Image Courtesy Philippe Ruault

Image Courtesy Philippe Ruault

Image Courtesy Philippe Ruault

Image Courtesy Philippe Ruault

Image Courtesy Vincent Fillon

Related posts:

Tags: ,

Categories: Commercial Building, Government Building

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

GRAPHISOFT: ARCHICAD download 30-day FREE trial
Graphisoft ARCHICAD  Download a 30-Day FREE trial
TurboCAD pro : Start at $299 - Countless CAD add-ons, plug-ins and more.

Internet Business Systems © 2016 Internet Business Systems, Inc.
595 Millich Dr., Suite 216, Campbell, CA 95008
+1 (408)-337-6870 — Contact Us, or visit our other sites:
TechJobsCafe - Technical Jobs and Resumes EDACafe - Electronic Design Automation GISCafe - Geographical Information Services  MCADCafe - Mechanical Design and Engineering ShareCG - Share Computer Graphic (CG) Animation, 3D Art and 3D Models
  Privacy Policy