The project for J.C. Decaux’s headquarters, at the intersection of two streets lined with diverse buildings, was the perfect opportunity to show with a clear gesture the importance of corners in the urban landscape. The project’s treatment of the corner is thus symbolic in one sense, but also practical in its approach to the corner as a point of urban and architectural intervention.
This stone-clad office building follows an L-shaped plan that brackets an interior garden courtyard. The entire space is organised over 10 levels, which include four floors of underground parking, the main floor, and six office floors. Each wing is articulated around the central circulation core, which is located at the corner and terminates in a service block and service stairs that are supported by a dividing wall.
The six storeys of office space benefit from a double-skin glass system that creates a unique relationship between the interior and exterior environments by enclosing vegetation. The overall composition of the glass corner tower emphasises a firm liaison between its two main façades. In another respect, the project had to respond to the particular requirements of façades that serve as areas of transmission between the public space of the street and the private space of the offices.
Horizontal bands of golden metal define the vertical rhythm, and the corner is anchored by a round tower. The tower is exceptionally well situated at the junction of two building wings and is thus ideally placed to house such functions as the entrance lobby, conference rooms, and executive offices.
In the open central space there is a grand spiral staircase, as well as the transparent elevator column in the interior corner on the courtyard side. The staircase is flanked by two elevators and two blocks of facilities, all of which constitute the nucleus of the vertical liaison.
Great columns of natural stone rise the entire length of the building and are bound to each other by two upper and lower cornices and a single colonnade at the terrace level, which forms an airy pediment against the sky. The columns frame a secondary order that withdraws behind the large panes of glass that enclose the greenhouses.