Veolia Headquaters, Paris, France

Building and Landscape symbiosis

Client: Icade
Architecture: Dietmar Feichtinger Architects
Period: 2012 – 2016
Surface area: 4 000m2

The landscape design at Veolia Headquarters is intimately connected to the structure and location of the new building and supports its role as locus of renewal and regeneration in the area. A monolithic block, the building crowns the Bassin d’Aubervilliers. Its frontal aspect seen from the quay appears as if carved out by perennial currents. An organic and varied interior landscape is thus borne within the urban island. Inside, shifting perspectives and framed views connect and generate counterplay and constant dialogue between the building’s geometry and the fluid shapes of the landscape within, which readily takes inspiration from natural settings. The mood of the landscape evolves according to location and level in relation to the building and the street. A planted garden nested below street level and arranged across the east and west patios provides continuity with the quay. At a distance, verdant canopies provide an umbral depth and animate glassy facades. The constitution of the garden evokes the natural evolution of a native woodland to a more mature forest with pines and birch trees. An expansive terrace is arranged over the central volume and raised above the garden canopies. Opened, full of light and mineral, it provides a clearing at the heart of the building. As though sculpted by water, wide gravel pathways meander in voluptuous curves among softly swelling mounds and slender longstemmed trees. Their bright foliage renders an atmospheric screen changing with the seasons. Over the main hall the Belvedere offers a privileged view of the canal. The natural stone cladding evokes more of an urban context while the majestic granite bench extends along the axis of the basin and is home to a ’rustic’ charm of vegetation. Visible from the street the Belvedere offers a variety of situations to isolate oneself in the contemplation of the city.