BNP Paribas Real Estate entrusted Dominique Perrault with the architectural project for the conversion of the '57 Métal' site.
This iconic building, commissioned by Renault and designed by the architect Claude Vasconi, was completed in 1984 and earned the architect the Grand Prix National de l'Architecture. Located near the Ile Seguin, 57 Métal is a founding part of this part of Boulogne and was refurbished for the first time in 2004. This task, entrusted to the architects Jakob+MacFarlane, was carried out at Renault’s request, who wanted to use the complex for key communication events.
The result of a collaboration between Dominique Perrault and BNP Paribas Real Estate, in concert with the city of Boulogne-Billancourt and the heirs of Claude Vasconi represented by architect Ignacio Prego, METAL 57 has won four awards, including the MIPIM in the 'Best Refurbished Building' category.
The challenge faced by DPA in creating this transformation was to both conserve the original architecture and adapt it to new uses. So, in the background, the emergence of a new building reveals by contrast the outline of the historic volume. METAL 57 is thus the result of a dialogue between two architectures, two eras, two geometries both of which have their own logic while operating in close relationship to each other. The innovations in the use of space are most evident in Claude Vasconi’s architecture, whereas the contemporary part hosts office floors offering double-height volumes with a mezzanine floor. The satin finish stainless steel elements of the new building’s façade capture and diffuse light, while the recessed glass walls and French doors, that are designed to remain open to guarantee the natural ventilation of the building, give the whole movement and rhythm. A rhythm that evokes an assemblage of large "glass blocks" with very marked lines and an industrial aesthetic. Inside, in the part inherited from Claude Vasconi, the wood and brick reinforce a warm atmosphere.
The main aim of this design is to open the building to the city and give users free access. This perfect representative of a new generation of tertiary buildings, in fact, offers a wide range of amenities, such as a "food hall" including cafés, trattorias, a gym and a business centre, with a modular auditorium.
DPA's concept of the lighting system stems from a desire to respect the design of the original building created by Claude Vasconi. The sheds, one of the most distinctive elements in Vasconi's design, let in a huge amount of natural light, like all 20th century industrial buildings. The artificial lighting luminaires at Métal 57 are integrated with great precision in the architecture of the site to both enhance and highlight it. This is why Gaëlle Lauriot-Prévost asked iGuzzini to develop and produce a special luminaire with a light source and optics that guarantee glare-free lighting.
iGuzzini therefore developed a special product for this project, based on the iN30, that has involved a careful adjustment of the optical groups, power supply and various installation systems. It was supplied in a black finish to match the graphic effect of the wooden ceiling.
Multiple versions of the luminaire have been developed (22 in all), so it can be installed in many ways, including recessed, cantilevered, suspended, surface-mounted and finally pole-mounted (all designed by Gaëlle Lauriot-Prevost).
Despite this very high number of variants, the product evokes an extreme sense of aesthetic uniformity as it appears in every single environment. In fact, its main feature is to offer very long modules - of over two meters - with luminous cells stretching along the way along them and a luminous flux that is lower than standard lighting.
The cantilevered luminaire is usually arranged in groups of three, two of which have direct emission and one indirect. For the indirect version, iGuzzini has developed special covers, applied to the visible part to ensure the uniformity of the language developed by Gaëlle Lauriot-Prevost.
A large degree of assistance was also provided on site, in collaboration with the lighting consultancy company. And to further facilitate installation, optical units were provided that could be installed directly on site, inside the profile.
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