Batignolles N5

The architectural morphogenesis of an office building

At the heart of the ZAC Clichy-Batignolles, the first Parisian district to be entirely designed and realized in the 21st century, PCA-STREAM offers an innovative office complex, with workspaces that match the new uses that have emerged from the digital revolution and the intangible economy. PCA-STREAM has aimed at achieving the best possible environmental performance and has developed a systemic bioclimatic design based on architectural morphogenesis.

Architectural morphogenesis

PCA-STREAM’s winning design for the Batignolles’ N5 block will form part of the eco-district of ZAC Clichy-Batignolles, which is being constructed right next to the Cité judiciaire, the new Judicial Precinct of the City of Paris. In the absence of any direct heritage constraints, an audacious style has been embraced, turning the project into a beacon and a destination for its users. At the crossing of two key arteries, Boulevard Berthier and Rue Rostropovitch, which runs along some railroad tracks, the project acts as the nexus between two distinctive levels in the district. It therefore forms both a screen and a passageway between its various identities and activities. Its position on the fringe of the Cité judiciaire is a source of contrast, with its west face that opens toward the post-industrial landscape and its other face toward the Parc Clichy-Batignolles. One face is thus oriented toward the weather and the traffic, while the other is protected from the sun and the noise. The complexity and the potential of the site have prompted PCA-STREAM to explore the concept of an architectural morphogenesis—an architecture that generated by its environment.

View from Boulevard Berthier © PCA-STREAM
Entrance of the building © PCA-STREAM


An office building that is open to the city

The building is designed following a versatile and organically-inspired geometry. Its morphology facilitates the opening on the city all the while articulating flows and activities thanks to its active base that take into account the gradient of the street. There, the public and private spheres are combined to create a visual and physical porosity. The bow of the building contains a pub that extends on the outside with a terrace. The pub is open all day long and is both a place to work and to relax for the users of the building and the neighborhood. The other sphere consists of an abundantly glazed office hallway, an access to an auditorium, and, further beyond, a large bicycle shelter that is enclosed in a breathable mesh cage. Placed between these two spheres is an atrium, which slides under the building, giving access to the terrace gardens. In promoting transparency and the sharing of its exterior spaces, Batignolles/N5 has embraced a physical and symbolic openness that conveys a vision of the office building enmeshed in the urban fabric.

Gardens adjoining the building © PCA-STREAM
Building's entrance © PCA-STREAM
Lobby and café-restaurant open to the city © PCA-STREAM


Workspaces that are adapted to new uses

Batignolles N5 is well adapted to the new emerging work patterns and work spaces that have been brought about digital revolution and the intangible economy. Serving the needs of businesses with flat organizational structures, that value creativity and team work and are concerned with their staff’s quality of life, the building is organized around a variety of individual and collaborative spaces. The cellular morphology of the building introduces a large diversity of situations and offers stories that are softened by a curved geometry. This generates atypical open spaces that are served by flexible circulations. The common areas, which are both wide and bright, expand meeting opportunities and foster serendipity, i.e., the ability for a space to bring about innovation and creativity through informal meetings. The terraces also play a part in the well-being of users, as does the visual comfort provided by the limited depth of the building. The architecture of the building itself derives from an approach in which the formal work is placed at the service of its intended uses.

Morphogenesis of the building in its environment © PCA-STREAM
Floor plan © PCA-STREAM
Floor plan © PCA-STREAM


An active membrane

Batignolles N5 is part of an ambitious sustainable development approach that takes into account energy issues as well as thermal, visual, and acoustic comfort. Key in PCA STREAM’s systemic approach is the building’s innovative envelope, a glazed double-skin façade clad with wooden scales that are arranged based on the acoustic nuisances and heat load they will help screen off. The excellent environmental performance of this active membrane makes it possible not to resort to any air conditioning, which makes the building a fully bioclimatic one. The complex geometry of scales also allows varying degrees of light to penetrate in the building, offering a great variety of light environments and produces a kinetic animation that is visible from the railway track and the two arteries. The building thus turns into both a spectacle and a landscape.

View from railway tracks © PCA-STREAM
View from boulevard Berthier © PCA-STREAM



Client Ogic
Program Offices
Location Boulevard Berthier, ZAC Clichy-Batignolles
Status Competition (2014)
Certifications HQE, Effinergie+, BREEAM Excellent

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