Located in Lyon, France, the Lacassagne telephone exchange from the 1970s has been converted into the Orange Telecommunications office, with two new structures added recently.
The new regional headquarters for telecommunications company Orange is an extension and renovation of an old telephone exchange. While making the most of the industrial building, it also gives an urban coherence to the city block by breaking the project into two ‘folded’ volumes that wrap around the existing building.
Our starting position with regards integration within the neighbourhood was to create a large, uniform building on a continuous ground plane, so reducing what we see as the negative effects of a multiple developments, which can be overloaded with too many building types and too many textures.
The new buildings find harmony in the homogenous grid of their facades (echoing the existing building) and the cut surfaces that shape the volumes by freeing up large planted terraces for the office floors.
The idea behind the sloping roofline is the double advantage of framing the existing building in order to enhance it, as well as freeing up views to and from the surrounding residences. The broken lines of the southern extension shape the industrial telephone exchange building, revealing its qualities as a work of architectural heritage. The terracotta-coloured, powder-coated aluminium facade echoes that of the telephone exchange, which is visible behind its concrete exoskeleton. The overall ensemble forms a unique volume and a powerful landmark at the entrance to the Part-Dieu neighbourhood.