Picard Group's new headquarters, located on the edge of Fontainebleau Forest, introduces an architectural design capable of absorbing – or even launching – the company’s future expansion in a ecological and contextual building.
The project to build Picard Group's headquarters is located at Glières in Fontainebleau, the town where Raymond Picard founded the company in 1906. It is situated in the middle of land formerly owned by the military in a district that is undergoing great change, where it is intended to become a gateway to a new business area. The project aims to bring together all the company’s staff on the same site and to further the group's growth and international development. It also meets the need to house the headquarters in a suitable building that reflects Picard’s image.
The project takes the form of an urban scheme with the potential to launch the future development of the site in terms of scalability of use and preserving the remarkable landscape. On a plot of 12,000m², the complex provides for the reception of 150 to 200 people, the construction of a cafeteria area and a storage area for the group's archives.
The building is located on the edge of the iconic Fontainebleau Forest like a small boat moored dockside. It stands on several areas of higher ground in relation to the surrounding terrain, which unfolds freely under the structure that is built on stilts. The design means that it would be possible to further develop eastwards thanks to a simple functional organisation. The workspaces are divided over two levels in two volumes separated by a central patio. An inner road connects each set of offices on the east-west axis, and can thus be expanded as much as necessary in the event of a possible eastward extension. It expands intermittently to provide lounges and social areas for employees. These areas are organised along the main façade and emerge like showcase volumes that animate the landscaped forecourt.
The materials used on the façade are designed to integrate with the landscape. The façade of the main body is treated with stained white concrete, from which emerge the expansion volumes of the inner road in wood cladding. This building reflects the architectural quality that is designed to meet the environmental goals. As an ecological building, winter solar gains contribute in particular to the passive energy supply of the reception areas. The project’s location and the spatial structure make it possible to create an ecological and contextual building capable of absorbing the future evolutions of the headquarters and the company itself without difficulty. From the landscape point of view, the project seeks to recreate and respect the biodiversity of Fontainebleau Forest: a woodland-style park repeats the typological and topological characteristics, and is accessible to everyone at the rear of the building via large walkways that run alongside the glass façade of the offices.