Fictions as Practice

dustyrelief << / >> wireframe




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La Defense, Paris, 2001
Architect: R&Sie(n)… Paris
(name of the agency at this time : R&Sie.D/B:L)
Creative team: François Roche, Stephanie Lavaux, Alexandre Boulin, Olivier Legrand, Gilles Desevedavy; Collaborators: Benoît Durandin, Etienne Feher, David Topanni
Key dimensions: 10,000 m2.
Client: EDF
Cost : 60M$


Office building in the La Défense business district, Paris. Commissioned by the research department of the French electricity utility (EDF) to design a solar-powered building.


1) Construction of a standard office building.

2) Deformation of the reactive façade to gather renewable energies:

- hairy façade for thermal sensors (5 km)

- swollen glass skin for photoelectric cells (2000 Sq m).

3) Disconnection (Unplugging) of the building from the city power grid.


This project proposes a “concept building”, similar to the “concept car” designed by the auto industry, with a reactive façade able to respond to contact with renewable energy. The hairiness (thermal sensor) and swollenness (photoelectric cells) of the façade-curtains are productive membranes. The architecture becomes both a consumer and a producer of energy that can be re-injected back into the network. This project proceeds from mutation, i.e. the transformation of a generic office building with new energy parameters (vacuum-sealed-tube solar panels and photovoltaic cells). The façade is thus reactive to this new energy input, making visible the benefits of sustainable energy, but in the same time revealing the pathologies of the sun UV rays exposure, triggering a melanoma of the glass skin...


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