Métropole Rouen Normandie Headquarters, Rouen, France

 

published in l'Arca International n. 141

 

Siège de la Métropole Rouen Normandie, Rouen, France, Project: Jacques Ferrier Architecture

 

 

Project: Jacques Ferrier Architecture; Scenography: Studio Pauline Marchetti and Sensual City Studio; Structural Engineering: C&E ingénierie; Economy and Fluids: SOGETI; Acoustic: ACV; Client: Métropole Rouen Normandie; photos : Luc Boegly; Labels et certifications : BEPOS et PassivHaus

 

 

The most distinctive feature of Métropole Rouen Normandie, which officially opened in July 2017, is the way it interacts with Rouen’s cityscape.

 

 

The new building’s dynamic profile contrasts with all the horizontal layers and levels of this majestic harbour city located along the River Seine, and its outline echoes the renovated industrial buildings along the right bank. Incorporated as part of a future extension to the park, this work of architecture also creates a new location for accommodating a future eco-neighbourhood and looks rather like the bows or fore of the entire layout. Its multifaceted transparency is designed to interact with changes in light in the Normandy skies, reflections in the water, and the different colours that appear at different times of year.

 

 

The building is covered with a double facade of lightly-coloured pieces of glass to create a shimmering skin thanks to diffracted light enhanced by delicate patches of colour that are multiplied as they are reflected in the river.

 

 

The glass is covered by a layer of metal oxides creating an iridescent effect on the outside, while it vanishes on the inside, without altering how the work spaces are perceived.

 

 

The double skin also provides the facades with passive heat protection. The pieces of glass on the roof turn into high-performance photovoltaic panels in various shades of colour.

 

 

The work spaces inside the building are set out according to different uses. The ground-floor entrance provides easy and direct access for the general public. All the public activities are organised on this level, which also accommodates meeting/reception rooms, utilities and ancillary services.

 

 

An observation deck on the roof extends the reception spaces, while also offering panoramic views across the cityscape and river.

 

 

 

The offices are located on various floors and are all extremely brightly-lit. A fault line running right across the middle of the building provides the interiors with an opening up into the skies.

 

 

This feature extends into patios on the various floors to create terraces accessible to visitors.