Carsat Collective housing, Clermont-Ferrand (France)


Carsat Collective housing, Clermont-Ferrand (France)

Buildings constructed most recently are not necessarily those that are least exposed to the passage of time.






Architect: CRR Architects, 
Technique: Standing seam VMZINC®, Surface aspect: PIGMENTO® Red and Green, QUARTZ-ZINC®


This 1970s office building on the edge of Clermont- Ferrand is proof of this. Most commercial real estate professionals would have readily agreed this complex was nearly obsolete. As luck would have it, the French Pension Insurance and Occupational Health Institution (CARSAT), was seeking a single site for its various departments located throughout the city and acquired this office building with the firm intention of radically transforming it.



The renovation work was managed by the CRR agency. As well as ensuring compliance with current standards, this Clermont based firm literally metamorphosed the existing building, symbolising the new image of the institution it now houses. The existing building was thoroughly modernist with a series of horizontal lines and a combination of concrete aprons and tinted glass. The architects in charge of its renovation highlighted vertical lines, punctuated by the repetitive standing seams on the facade's cladding. The insertion of random volumes in red PIGMENTO® provided another means of “breaking” the monolith, which the architects decided to handle as roughly as possible.


The south facade is equipped with a series of sunscreens with sinuous vertical lines that the architects compare to wild grass. Their undulating design gives rhythm to the green PIGMENTO® cladding of the side facades, also featuring the sway of the sun screens.  After renovation, the building's thermal label was promoted from G to B for energy consumption and from E to A for greenhouse gas emissions, thereby significantly improving its environmental profile.