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On the south and east of Paris, lies the suburban area along wide boulevards and roadway interchanges, the RATP Bus Centre in Thiais is built in an industrial landscape. The centre conciliates 300 buses. 800 bus drivers pass through the building every day, including the administrative, the security and the maintenance staffs which manage the Bus Centre.
The building starts with the distortion of the ground and continues it with an apparently standardized material, a sheet of ultra high performance concrete, paradoxical and superlative, 3 cm thick displaying a non slippery texture of dots in relief like a game of “LEGO” (24 mm diameter x 7 mm high, distant of 12 mm) contributing to a kinetic morphing which responds to very sophisticated demands : informality of the structure, constant evolution of the plans, density, homogeneity, dematerialization, precision, durability towards emphasized constraints.
It ensures a continuity of the ground from the road, to the skin of the façades, the suspended ceilings and the terrace rooftop without any rupture, proposing a merging between the building and its support to a point of confusion. The building has neither a beginning nor an end.
The concrete hull is cut out with a Stanley knife, surgical incisions revealing cavities of reflective and coloured glass. Treated with silver mirror dots, chromatics of the glass products are inspired by the tinted curtain wall frontages of the “office” buildings which border the main road. Aside the administrative building, the program also includes the realization of a new checkpoint of the centre and a bikes shelter.
Architects: Emmanuel Combarel Dominique Marrec
Engineering: BETOM – SIT
Main Contractor: DUTHEIL – BETSINOR / LABASETERE
Client: PARIS HABITAT
Program: Administrative building
Constructed Area: 2,450 sqm
Photographs: Benoit Fougeirol – Philippe Ruault
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