“The project is like a large ‘Aztec serpent’ rising on the lot,” says French studio Manuelle Gautrand Architecture. “Its body has three identical outer faces, and an underside that is different: a skin of silvery transparent scales, and a bright yellow ‘throat,’ shiny and opaque.”
Located near the main train station in Saint-Etienne, France, this angular office building loops around a central courtyard. The faade of the building is made up of opaque and glass rectangular panels, contrasting with the yellow underbelly where parts of the volume have been cut away. The building houses the offices for several government bodies, as well as a restaurant, tourism bureau, and leisure facilities.
The absence of breaks in surfaces will ensure that things remain open-ended, with the possibility of extending or reducing space. Depending on their needs, tenants will be able to extend or reduce the floor-space they occupy.