RATP OFFICE CENTRE AND BUS STATION

The building concentrates lots of specificities and lots of representatives. Conceived as a flux structure with no pre-determined structural or function screen, the complex accommodates 300 buses. 800 bus drivers forward trough the building every day, plus the administrative staffs which manages the centre. Aside the administrative building, the program included the realization of a new checkpoint of the centre and a bikes shelter.
Cities: THIAIS
Countries: FRANCE
Categories: OFFICE BUILDINGS
Designer: ECDM ARCHITECTES
Date: 2007
Located an industrial context in the city of Thiais, it’s characterised by a succession of boxes, at best basic. The site is reduced to a bus park, a vast monolithic concrete slab, uniformed territory composed of one sole material. 
The building starts with the deformation of the ground, the distortion of the existing concrete slab, and continues it with an apparently similar material Ductal, still concrete but a dazzling sheet of concrete, which responds to very sophisticated demands: informality of the structure, constant evolution of the plans, dematerialization, precision, density, homogeneity of aspect according to the mould designed. 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. Combined with the structural qualities of the material, the building has neither a beginning nor an end. The building appears like a monolith with rounded edges, polished somehow. 
Characterized by a dense square plan (35m x 35m) developed on 2 levels, it presents itself as the continuity of the banal coating of the roads, like a piece stamped from distorting the existing concrete surface of the Bus Center. The Ductal is used here as a morphing to cover the carcass of a composite program. The result is a dense building, inert, deaf, and enigmatic. The “windows” are cut with a cutter blade : surgical incisions generating volumes in negative which reveal colored mirrors under the thin crust of concrete. The texture games are facilitated by the flexibility of the material and its ability to be molded with precision. 
The quality of finish and rigor of Ductal contribute to ensuring this concrete skin, accurate, continuous, perfect connections. The skin : 3 cm thick displays a single texture of dots in relief like a game of « LEGO »: 24 mm diameter x 7 mm high, distant of 12 mm. The concrete hull is cut out with a cutter putting at sharp, revealing cavities of reflective and coloured glass under the concrete crust. 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. 

Photo credits: Philippe Ruault, Benoit Fougeirol
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