Claude Parent

Immeubles de bureaux pour Électricité de France, Saint-Denis, 1991-1994

Avec Reichen & Robert

After participating in the French nuclear program (Cattenom and Chooz plants) and his intervention on the building for the SEPTEN (Lyon-Villeurbanne, 1982-1984), Claude Parent again worked for Électricité de France within the context of its “Saint-Denis project.” The project was ambitious as it involved designing the development plan for three parcels (Seine, Ampère and Pleyel) over 33 ha and to construct the buildings intended to house the central administrative and support services of the DEPT (Department of Electricity Production Transport) on the company’s historical site. This lot, which includes the electric power plants of Saint-Denis 1 & 2 and the Pleyel Tower (Michel Folliasson and Bernard Favatier, 1969-1973), is also a communication hub between the Seine, the A86 expressway and the Pleyel subway station. For this project the architect was associated with the Reichen & Robert office of architects and urban planners, and for the interior architecture, with Jean-Michel Wilmotte. The buildings can be grouped into four main clusters (the Tête Pleyel-Grand Atrium, the Arc, the Patios and the Rotonde) which tend to give the site the appearance of a city within a city. Each building has a specific identity conforming to different morphological types, even though the program is largely the same for each (office and service buildings). The architects had to tackle this homogeneity of functions and this disparity of places, while seeking to create coherent project unity and a positive brand image for the firm. The Tête Pleyel, in the form of a ship’s prow, serves as the element linking the project with the urban fabric. Claude Parent submitted numerous studies before the final study was approved, some of which made a direct reference to his project for the Colline solaire (solar hill) for the Tête Défense (1979-1980).

Audrey Jeanroy

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