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AIA has just delivered the headquarters for the french bank Crédit Mutuel de Loire-Atlantique in Nantes.
The basic concept: A light and transparent bank

The question leading to the basic concept underlying this project was: how to offer the highest quality and most efficient ergonomic work spaces possible?  The answer to this question resolved all the other issues facing the operation with regard to its insertion in the urban fabric, its environmental quality and the representation of the activity of banking in a period of financial crisis. Thus, the offices are distributed over three floors forming a thickness of 38 m, organized around two patios. The top floors are comprised of standard offices, and the C-suites, while the ground floor and the lower floors house public and shared functions: exhibition gallery, meeting and reception rooms, café, and restaurant serving the entire site, distributed around a broad atrium. This configuration ensures that all the offices benefit from equivalent spatial qualities and quality lighting. In addition, it fosters optimal communication between occupants and users and easy navigation of the site thanks to looping circulations.

An open, multi-purpose ground floor 

Accessible from piazza, the reception lobby is of a new type for a bank program: multipurpose, half its surface area is open to the public. Visitors have access to an exhibition gallery, a café and an existing auditorium in an adjacent building to which it is now linked. In its canter, the lobby receives natural light through a triple height atrium with a monumental staircase providing access to the reception meeting and the restaurant shared by the two banks. The light-colored, polished concrete floor and walls clad in hand applied white, contrasting with a long green wall covered in brightly colored green moss, optimally captures light and bestows a clear and welcoming ambiance on the place.

The façades: an inventive “heliotrope” membrane

The first element of directly perceptible representation, the white silkscreened glass façades, are the building’s signature, evoking the transparency of this financial institution.
Housing offices, the three façades of the lot facing the street are composed of a double skin of diaphanous “heliotrope” glass: a outer façade, placed at one meter out from the first curtain wall to which it is attached. The former is comprised of mobile glass panels attached to a motorized axis and linked to sensors, which are operated by a centralized management system, making it possible to automatically orient them in one of three different configurations.
These changing façades, moving according to the seasons, are alive, echoing nature, and they convincingly attest to the client’s and the design team’s wish to do their part in facing the environmental challenges of our age.

A metal structure for clean and rapid construction and open floors

To obtain broad open floors free of posts or columns, the structure is made of steel, an unusual choice for this type of program, and is part of the spirit of innovation of this ensemble.
Thinner than concrete construction, it makes it possible to build up to a span of 12 meters while maintaining comfortable plenums in spaces assigned to house utilities. Some lattice girders are exteriorized on the façade, giving them an ornamental purpose. Finally, in addition to shortening construction time frames, the metal structure also contributed to a reduction in pollutants released in the environment.

10 rue de Rieux 44000 Nantes

New headquarters of Crédit Mutuel de Loire-Atlantique et du Centre-Ouest - Restructuring of the CIC - Redevelopment of public spaces

Crédit Mutuel de LACO  /  CIC Ouest

Project management
Architects : AIA Associés, associated with  AIA Architectes and Intens-Cité
Interior architects : AIA Architectes and Mouvement carré (Stéphane Renaud) 
General engineering  and project economy : AIA Ingénierie
Facades engineering consultant : Arcora
Environment engineering : AIA Studio Environnement
Scheduling, overseeing and coordination : AIA Management Associés

Copyright © Luc Boegly & Guillaume Satre
Source:Press release:  AIA


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