All images: © Luc Boegly, Courtesy of Christian Pottgiesser
Talk about an urban jungle. In Paris' tenth arronidissement, two companies, Pons and Huot, share one of the more remarkable offices in the city. "Forest Through the Table," the work of architect Christian Pottgiesser, is the result of a 2005-2006 renovation of an old industrial workshop. Taking advantage of the wide spaces and high ceiling, Pottgeisser installed a self-cleaning glass roof to bring in tons of sunlight, and set about making a mini-jungle.
More pics after the jump.
The office is actually set on top of a solid oak platform, 1.7 m high, 22 m long and 14 m wide (5'7 x 72' x 46'), into which each individual workspace it cut, and then topped with a Plexiglass dome. I'm not too big on this feature: the enclosure seems to work against the openness that the rest of the architecture embraces.
"Through the Table" comes complete with the office basics- kitchen, rec room, offices- but has no entrance hall or reception area. Instead, Pottgiesser says, visitors are guided by a "peripheral path-system" that leads them where they need to go. Based on the photos, the Pons and Huot office walks a fine line between feeling artificial and feeling real, but I think the Ficus-Panda trees throughout the space are a fantastic touch, and push Pottgiesser's work over into reality.
What makes me frown about the whole thing is the amount of wood used in its construction, especially considering that there's no mention of it being sustainably harvested. Besides being a bit creepy for the living trees, surrounded by fallen comrades, much of the wood was used for cosmetic effect. It's hard to justify, considering how many offices we feature that are remarkable for the way they save space and material. But if you insist on indulgence, this is a beautiful way to do it.
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