Origine, a white cliff-like building in La Défense
Maud Caubet Architectes + Quadri Fiore Architecture
Upon vacating its previous headquarters in Tour Adria in the La Défense business district, the French energy giant Technip Energies moved just a short distance to its new premises in a mixed-use complex called Origine, officially opened in 2021. The complex consists of offices, residential and commercial spaces and is the result of a collaboration between the Paris-based practices Maud Caubet Architectes and Quadri Fiore Architecture. “With Origine we wanted to reconcile nature and architecture,” said the architects, who admit to having been inspired by the shapes of cliffs in their design for the new building. The new Technip Energies headquarters extends over a total space of 70,000 square metres divided into two large eight-storey blocks connected by elevated walkways and gardens. The exterior façades consist of an alternation between fenestration and 14 mm porcelain stoneware surfaces in the colour Clay, the creamy white version of Cotto d’Este’s Limestone collection which embodies all the beauty of sedimentary stone formed on the seabed over millions of years. This 14 mm thick porcelain tile is resistant to heavy loads, thermal shock and chemicals and has excellent non-slip properties.
Inside, the large lobby bathed in zenithal light originating from the glazed dome is reminiscent of the Guggenheim Museum in New York, although the ascending spiral ramp is replaced here by circular balconies. Wood and concrete are the two structural components, while the predominantly pale tones enhance the sense of luminosity of all the rooms.
The layout of the interiors is the result of close cooperation between the company’s management and employees, a partnership that began right at the start of the project and continued in four stages between 2018 and 2020 with the aim of determining the concept and workspaces that would be best suited to the needs of each of the 3,000 people who work there.
The two large blocks cater for the needs of socialisation and teamwork by fostering collective well-being.
The dining spaces include two company restaurants with large windows overlooking the interior gardens, a quick lunch area and an all-day picnic area. There are also no fewer than 30 coffee corners, half of which open onto terraces and balconies, while the co-working space opens onto a more than 300 square metre terrace.
The complex also boasts fitness rooms and meeting spaces specially designed to welcome visitors, including four business centres, a showroom and a 160-seat auditorium.
This cutting-edge project was so focused on green criteria that Origine has been defined as a smart building in its own right, boasting six environmental certifications including BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) and LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). Energy needs are met by a combination of geothermal energy and photovoltaic panels. A rainwater harvesting system provides water for sanitation and the gardens, while natural ventilation of the building is achieved thanks to the presence of no fewer than 1,800 partially-opening windows. All of this makes Origine “a good place to live and work”, in the words of Emmanuelle Baboulin, one of the managers at the Icade real estate group that developed the entire complex.
Cotto d'Este, Limestone
30x90, 45x90, 60x90, 90x90 cm
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): < 0,5%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): LA-HA
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): 5
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): conforme
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): conforme
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): 50 N/mm2
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R10
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): conforme
Crazing resistance (ISO 10545-11): conforme
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): conforme