PCA-STREAM’s Alter-Office

A place for thinking and experimentation

A multidisciplinary, open, and innovative approach is needed to understand and address the complex urban issues of today. It is embodied in our method as well as in our workplace, which we have designed to express our vision of our reinvented profession. The architectural space of the firm reflects our business project.

For the past ten years, PCA-STREAM has been developing a unique approach based on the cross-fertilization of fundamental research and operational practice. At the heart of this system, the STREAM LAB studies the impact of contemporary transformations on the way we live in the city, broadly defined; it also participates in defining projects with the design teams by calling on a network of international experts in various fields.

The structure and internal layout of PCA-STREAM’s headquarters were chosen according to the guiding principles of interaction between theory and practice, and agile geometry collaborations. Located in the heart of Paris, the firm is an in situ testing ground where the findings of the research conducted on the evolution of workspaces and work patterns, which we initiated with the publication Stream 02 – After-Office in 2008, are tested out.

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An arena for thought and production

The working spaces were restructured from an old printing shop located in a residential courtyard at the heart of the Marais district. The multidisciplinary firm has replaced the old industrial structure of the printing shop, marking the transition into a new era of production, from Fordist industrial capitalism to cognitive capitalism.

The firm is organized as a hub with three spokes that interconnect around the courtyard:

The PCA cluster, with two stories around a patio, regroups the project teams, the workshop where our architectural models are crafted, a collection of engineering materials, and the various meeting rooms;

The STREAM LAB, which is located in an adjoining house, and which relies on production tools such as a screening room and a photo studio;

The Co-working space, which is located upstairs, and is open to external resources including a dining area / focus space.


Spaces and resources to support innovation

The firm is organized in a way that ensures fluidity between theoretical and practical activities. The connection between different places is reinforced through the use of transparency between different areas. We value creativity, initiative, co-design, and innovation in the way we work. To foster serendipity, we have meeting zones that encourage formal and informal interactions between team members, external resources, and guests: meeting rooms, the outside patio, skylights throughout the entire complex, a brainstorming room at the first floor at Stream Lab, and a collective kitchen in the co-working space.

Specific places have been designed and developed within the firm to accompany and support the development of varied and innovative projects:

A resource center / library containing over 300 references;

A recording and photo shooting studio for interviews with different STREAM speakers;

A twenty-one-seat auditorium with a projection screen for conferences, screenings, and presentations;

A collection of engineering materials, a architectural model workshop, and a projected fab lab.


A work environment promoting well-being

To address the emerging collaborative and open work patterns, PCA-STREAM is focusing on creating a friendly and adaptable environment, where quality of life is key. The spaces and atmosphere at the firm are specifically tailored to this new paradigm.

Preference is given to natural light throughout the complex. The basement patio creates a skylight around which the open-plan office and the project platforms are spread out. Because nature plays a vital role in the quality of life of places, the complex is built around a courtyard with trees. The green patio offers a place to work outside, to carry out informal meetings, to have lunch and to organize events.

Different spaces allow for varying levels of closeness and can adapt to the various situations that the staff find themselves in throughout the day—building models, fabricating products, eating, resting, making calls or watching movies, working inside or outside, alone or with others.

A canteen reserved for the employees of the agency is set up next to the co-working space, directly accessible by the lift from the agency. A chef is invited to cook meals based on fresh produce. The employees meet once a week around these moments of gourmet and convivial break.