LAN architecture: EDF national archives   now complete LAN architecture: EDF national archives   now complete
apr 29, 2011

LAN architecture: EDF national archives now complete

‘EDF national archives’ by LAN architecture in bure-saudron, franceall images courtesy LAN architecturephotographer: julien lanoo

following up on our previous report of the project, paris-based office LAN architecture has sent us images of the now complete ‘EDF national archives’, a five-storey facility to store the utility company’s records in bure-saudron, france. accommodating 70 km of shelves, the 1,400 m2 centre puts at the core of its design a rational layout for optimum storage efficiency as well as sustainability in its operations.

exterior view

inserted into a 33,000 m2 site, the building is wrapped in coloured prefabricated concrete panels which feature an organic pattern made out of 120,000 stainless steel studs. each measuring 7 cm in diameter, the collective motif lends the centre a distinctive and dynamic identity that reflects the elements of its surrounding back to the site.


the simple volume is divided into two components: archives and offices. the former is composed of 20 storehouses (200 m2 each) which are temperature- and humidity-controlled. the blocks can resist fire for 2 hours and are fully equipped with a sprinkling system. sweeping views of the landscape are provided at the office level, which largely remains transparent through floor to ceiling glazing.

(left) on site(right) ground floor

integrated with renewable energy strategies, the total power consumed by the building is minimized to 20 kWh/m2. ventilation is executed by the use of a double flow system with heat recuperation, which cuts down on the energy consumption while not compromising on the quality of the air. measuring 68 cm, the elevations paired with 30 cm-thick insulation results in a very high performance envelope.

covered outdoor space

perforated overhang

steel studs facade treatment

reflective pool

(left) ground floor circulation space(right) office

storage level

meeting room

in context

ground floor plan

floor plan of storage level

axo of ground floor

axo of storage level


construction of steel concrete panels

project info:

client: EDF site area: 33,000 m2 built up area: 6,800 m2 HEG consultant: franck boutté structure: batiserf ingénierie surveyor: michel forgue landscape architects: base utilities: LBE project manager: christophe leblond

  • Very Very Very Very Very cool.

    Probably the best I have seen yet on designboom.


    djorge says:
  • Very Cool?
    Perhaps you read who the client is first*, And then compare that decorative “pretty” box to the four in Fukushima before they blew up or burnt down.
    Ironic? Ironically criminal i would say. The ethics of some architectural practices, especially good ones like LAN, often amaze and disappoints me. These Industries should be shunned like the plague.

    *EDF own 56 nuclear power stations.

    Sten says:
  • This is a beautiful design with an expression true to its function.

    One question I have is, is there still a need to have records in physical documents enough to require an entire purpose-designed building?

    Mahtot says:

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