RATP Formation Centre by Stephane Maupin
and Nicolas Hugon

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RATP Formation Centre by Stephane Maupin

French architects Stephane Maupin and Nicolas Hugon have completed this ship-like building outside Paris as a base for rail and subway employees.

RATP Formation Centre by Stephane Maupin

Connected to the roof of the five-storey building are three blades resembling those of a helicopter, which contain street lights and solar panels.

RATP Formation Centre by Stephane Maupin

Called RATP Formation Centre, the projects has a combination of circular and rectangular windows.

RATP Formation Centre by Stephane Maupin

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RATP Formation Centre by Stephane Maupin

The following is from the architect:


The building is located on the fringe of Paris city, at ‘Porte de la Villette’, an area where the urban fabric dissolves into heterogeneous industrial infrastructures.

RATP Formation Centre by Stephane Maupin

Surrounded between Paris ring road, train tracks, factories, and social housings, we were inspired by the brutality of this collage where concrete pillars clashes with raw metal, gravels collides with noisy train sounds…a mineral and raw atmosphere.

RATP Formation Centre by Stephane Maupin

The triangular zone of intervention on the site releases itself naturally from the existing constraints.

RATP Formation Centre by Stephane Maupin

The result is a concrete piece of cake, a simple 22m high extrusion of that original triangular shape.

RATP Formation Centre by Stephane Maupin

The building regroups workshops dedicated to the maintenance of the Parisian subway transportation system that were previously dispersed in different places.

RATP Formation Centre by Stephane Maupin

Employees gathers to the building and get prepared before being routed towards damaged rails tracks sites.

RATP Formation Centre by Stephane Maupin

Each of the building’s five floors hosts a different activity and program, first floor is a warehouse, the second floor is filled by lockers, the third floor is a classroom, the fourth floor is for management, the fifth floor welcomes a restaurant with a large terrace offering overlooking views towards the Parisian’s ring road.

RATP Formation Centre by Stephane Maupin

The five floors of the buildings are arranged and organized around a central convivial staircase.

RATP Formation Centre by Stephane Maupin

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We designed that staircase as an amazing interior procession.

RATP Formation Centre by Stephane Maupin

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All other circulation spaces are designed as playful additions to the building’s main structure: footbridges, staircases and aerial lifts create a multidimensional atmosphere with varied spatial experiences.

RATP Formation Centre by Stephane Maupin

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As the work is hard, the lockers room is designed as a welcoming and release space, where the combination of washbasin, soap dispenser and mirror with a colorized background resembles a friendly smiley.

RATP Formation Centre by Stephane Maupin

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The project is crowned by a contemporary tripod helix.

RATP Formation Centre by Stephane Maupin

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This tripod is in fact a combination of the vertical chimney and the light projectors for car parks and areas surrounding the building.

RATP Formation Centre by Stephane Maupin

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It also helps to heat sanitary water, providing a large area of solar panels.

RATP Formation Centre by Stephane Maupin

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This strong element is a sign of the architect’s engagement to environmental convictions. It proves that the French ‘HQE’ label can also be interpreted with fun.

RATP Formation Centre by Stephane Maupin

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Trough delicate reaction to the site, and careful organization of the circulations and building’s access, we intended to affirm the building as a ‘worker’s palace’ instead of a banal utilitarian building.

RATP Formation Centre by Stephane Maupin

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We could easily imagine the head of this submarine bursting through the ice…

RATP Formation Centre by Stephane Maupin

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Credits : Stephane Maupin / Nicolas Hugon
Year :2010
Collaborators : Jérome Santel, Gwenael Lechapelain
Area : Paris
Photos credits : Cécile Septet

RATP Formation Centre by Stephane Maupin

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  • Alberto

    Nicely done. Love the comics look!

  • yuc

    Breaking banality with the fantastic. That may be way out of the superficiality of surface treatments and extraordinary detailing acrobacy in architecture.

    As a negative comment, I have to say that the circular windows of this thing, which are chosen to eliminate the rectangular windows that belong to "building", cannot but give the impression that they follow the "perforated" fashion.

    I think that the reason why those good floor plans are not supported by good sections, like a cut through to bring light into the center, is due to lack of sufficient building area.

  • Stijn

    The outside is fun, but on the inside it looks like a prison.

  • #Onelab_nl

    Love the brute force of the exterior! Very fitting for this specific site. Don't know about the interior.: love the reference to the subway in the wall tiles in the staircase. The green in the central hallway looks arbitray and the ceiling is just plain disappointing. Better the left is out so that all the installation would be visible. Would have been more consistent with the exterior.