French studio Brenac & Gonzalez & Associés has remodeled a pseudo-antique building by architect Marc Headline that was formerly an IBM office. Now, in addition to the new format workspaces, there is a business center, a fitness center and a cafe
January 14, 2022
Pompignan, a suburb of Montpellier, has hosted IBM's largest office complex since the 1980s. It occupied an area of 28 hectares and consisted of a dozen buildings scattered throughout the territory. However, over time, the buildings became outdated, and now, 30 years later, the French firm BGA (Brenac & Gonzalez & Associés) was commissioned to design a new office campus for Orange and rebuild the former dining room. This is a building built in 1983 by the architect Marc Held, who drew inspiration from Gallo-Roman architecture. The customer was Covivo, which plans to turn this place into a new “Silicon Valley”.
The building of the former dining room is organized around two courtyards, typical of Mediterranean architecture. The main one is surrounded by a portico of wooden columns and surrounded by stone walls. The BGA project included two main points. First, the architects tried to preserve the original architecture of the building and restore its details, such as, for example, Roman-style tiled roofs, cornices, columns, cobblestone walls. In addition, additional openings were made in the wall surrounding the building to provide views of the surrounding campus landscape.
The second important task facing the architects was to add usable space. The demolition of the old kitchens made it possible to increase the space and add a new volume to the existing building, made in a similar style, with the same patio. It houses a cafeteria for employees, a business center, an amphitheater, co-working space, offices for local startups, fitness and wellness areas.
A multi-level terrace with landscaping was designed on the roof of the new building. And pine trees, lavender, fig trees and jasmine were planted around so that users of the office center could enjoy their fragrance at lunchtime.