The sorting facility is located in a part of the city which was, until recently, devoted to industry, business and car parks. Over the last thirty years, the decline and relocation of these activities have led to the renewal of the whole area.
Located on a former roundabout, which was redeveloped to allow a tram to run through it, the site is surrounded by roads: the ring road above, a road tunnel below, and four lanes on each side. This gives it a strategic position at the centre of several logistic routes, and offers the advantage of being highly visi- ble with excellent access.
FANCY DESIGN AND RECYCLING
A sorting centre is hardly a glamorous scheme so, in order to make the building stand out and promote reuse and recycling to everybody, a striking white brick design was chosen. Brick itself is a natural material and ties in well with the overall concept.
Covering an area of 1,400 m2, the facility stands out from the network of roads like a pearl in a tarmac jungle. It is protected from its hostile environment by an enclosure of white clay and glass bricks, which form curved walls measuring 35 – 40 metres in length. The aim of this finishing touch is to rouse the curiosity of the many people passing by, inviting them to bring their waste there too, and to gather and reuse as many resources as possible.
STRENGTH AND LIGHTNESS
The wall enclosing the facility is both robust and lightweight, contrasting with the infrastructure surrounding it and creating a dialogue with passing pedestrians. It is constructed from glazed white clay bricks, set in a staggered design, with some bricks pulling away from the wall. This design, and the height of 3.3 m, prevents intrusion whilst letting in light and allowing curious passers-by to see in through the glass bricks. The urban environment is reflected on this shining brick facade, which vibrates in the sunlight and under the lights of passing cars.
This recycling centre, with its bold architecture, promotes sustainable values while serving as a necessary tool for the treatment of waste. After all, doesn’t today’s waste provide the resources of tomorrow?
Facts & Figures
Project nameEspace de tri Porte de Pantin, Paris, France
ClientCity of Paris
Terca brique blanc emaillé
Year of completion2016