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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.

Flight Traffic Radar in Paris, France by Barthélémy-Griño architectes

 
November 9th, 2014 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: Barthélémy-Griño architectes

A flight traffic radar for Orly airport will be built in a new location chosen to provide the best control service in a high traffic airspace while respecting security requirements. The Paris-Saclay redevelopment project and the ban on objects over 174 metres high within a 5 km radius means the current radar must be demolished.

Image Courtesy © Barthélémy-Griño architectes

Image Courtesy © Barthélémy-Griño architectes

  • Architects: Barthélémy-Griño architectes
  • Project: Flight Traffic Radar
  • Location: Paris-Saclay, France
  • Start of works: 1st quarter of 2015
  • Delivery: 1st quarter of 2016
  • Height: 65 m
  • Diameter: 13.90 m 336 posts, 12 levels

Image Courtesy © Barthélémy-Griño architectes

Image Courtesy © Barthélémy-Griño architectes

Following a design and construction consultation for the future flight radar, the Paris-Saclay Public Establishment chose the Barthélémy-Griño architects group in partnership with the T/E/S/S engineering consultant, MTC and Rabot Dutilleul. The aim is to develop a structure which meets the requirements of the redevelopment project and its location in the midst of the new École Polytechnique neighbourhood. This must be achieved on the regional scale of the Saclay Plateau, and the Chevreuse Valley, the urban scale of the campus and the human scale closer to the central strip.

Standing 65 metres above the plateau, this monumental radar tower will become a real beacon which must integrate the landscape on several scales: the regional scale of the Saclay Plateau, and the Chevreuse Valley, the urban scale of the campus and the human scale closer to the central strip.

SIMPLE AND COMPACT

The tower is made up of a single, streamlined volume: a cylinder 57 m in height. It is 13.4 m in diameter from the base to the summit. These dimensions are due to the structural rigidity required to limit distortions to the radar in high winds. The simplicity of form is enhanced by the choice of a single material: concrete. The openwork walls lend life and lightness to the cylinder, allowing glimpses of light and sky to come through.

Image Courtesy © Barthélémy-Griño architectes

Image Courtesy © Barthélémy-Griño architectes

All the functional programme components are grouped around the tower, with only the radar dome separate from it. This compact quality helps define the surrounding spaces. The tower is thus delicately encompassed by a concrete pavement and seems to emerge naturally from the ground.

The interior of the volume is empty, apart from technical premises which are housed on the first two floors. 28 concrete posts divide the other levels. The superposition of these posts, spaced regularly around each platform, but completely different in height, produces a pattern which captures and reflects the light and the sun in a variety of ways.

Image Courtesy © Barthélémy-Griño architectes

Image Courtesy © Barthélémy-Griño architectes

DIRECTION AND DYNAMICS

The tower appears in movement on approaching the campus, from the raised metro line or the roads and cycle lanes. The image of the tower is transformed depending on the angle of approach. Variations in the pillar sections affect the transparency of the cylinder, transforming it, in the different lights of day, into a fantastic kaleidoscope.

The project presents itself as a contemporary version of a monumental – crafted column, imposing and immaterial. A column with 308 openings which, in the lower sections, give onto variations in the Saclay Plateau landscape and, in the upper sections, the ever-changing picture of the sky. It cuts a wise, humble and powerful figure, anchoring a crucial and strategic area of Greater Paris.

Image Courtesy © Barthélémy-Griño architectes

Image Courtesy © Barthélémy-Griño architectes

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