Headquarters of Métropole Rouen Normandie

Prize Winner in Architectural Design / Institutional Architecture
Firm LocationParis, France
CompanyJacques Ferrier Architecture
Lead DesignerJacques Ferrier Architecture
Design TeamJacques Ferrier Architecture, head architect Studio Pauline Marchetti and Sensual City Studio, signage, design and scenography of the hall C&E ingénierie, structural engineering SOGETI, engineering of fluids and economical construction ACV, acoustics

The headquarters of Métropole Rouen Normandie is a unique, memorable and fitting landmark on the banks of the Seine in Rouen. The building’s dynamic profile contrasts with the omnipresence of horizontal lines found along the major port, while its silhouette echoes the renovated industrial buildings on the right bank. The oblique shapes are reminiscent of the silhouettes of cranes and other objects in the port and the bows of the passing ships. Its multi-faceted, transparent architecture plays with the changing light of Normandy's sky, reflections from the water, and the colours of the climate. The building is covered with fish-like ‘scales’ made of subtly coloured glass. Reflecting and refracting the light of the sun, the glass scales cover the building with hints of colour that is further enhanced by the reflections from the river below. The effect is inspired by impressionist painting, in particular, Claude Monet. On the roof, the glass scales make way for solar panels that provide a considerable contribution to the building’s energy self-sufficiency. It is a contemporary metropolitan icon, but already forms part of the surroundings. It blends in with the unique visual landscape of the quays and the history of the port.