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Hypergreen

As a result of its ambition to collaborate with the world of architecture and align itself with reflection on urbanization on the fringes of the commercial sector, Lafarge wants to offer new solutions for construction with a reduced ecological footprint and an enlarged social role. This is the key challenge in its partnership approach with the world of architecture.

"Living infrastructure" – a study of bridges

Case study

Marc Hatzfeld, sociologist and observer of suburbs

Marc Hatzfeld confirms the poor perception of infrastructures. "Cities create a tension between two groups of players, decision-makers and inhabitants, which generally do not meet." According to him, the answers to the problem of seclusion necessarily involve a policy which dedicate space and the role of infrastructures to repair, revive and renew the urban fabric which has been forgotten or not completed. "Articulating flows and functions in the infrastructure must favor appropriation by the inhabitants, opening up and reconciliation of the city with its infrastructure," he adds.

"Living infrastructure": that is what engineer-architect Marc Mimram is offering in his study carried out in partnership with Lafarge. Generally poorly perceived, infrastructure is too often experienced as a necessary evil in cities. It is time to reconcile infrastructures and inhabitants!

 

Four bridges, four cities

Bridges, the ultimate infrastructure, lend themselves to the principle of this study. Marc Mimram proposes four innovative bridges suited to specific cities:

  • The "Landscape Bridge" in La Courneuve, France. The city, cut off from its park by a motorway, is typical of the unhealthy situation of suburbs whose living areas and centers are cut off from each other. Only breaking down the divide, with a rural aspect here, will enable this opening up which is needed so badly.

  • The "Rooftop Bridge" in Shanghai, China. Fascinating because of its rapid expansion, Shanghai is still confronted by mobility problems which mean road infrastructure is everywhere, both on the ground and overhead. Making the roofs of these bridges public means changing the very perception of these existing works.

  • The "The Accommodating Structure" in New York, United States. An icon of the vertical city due to its towers, the American megalopolis lays and submerges bridges which become homes, local halls, public spaces, etc.

  • The "Inhabited Structure" in Moscow, Russia. Marc Mimram's project ties in with the anthology image of the Ponte Vecchio in Florence over the Arno, by providing a total fusion between city and bridge.

Lafarge and concrete in architectural thinking

In the context of the study carried out by Marc Mimram, Ductal® ultra-high performance concrete appears to be the ideal physical solution for creating the engineer-architect's light and inventive forms.

 

View the exclusive interview with Marc Mimram in images!

A tower that meets its own energy needs

The Hypergreen project saw the light of day thanks to architect Jacques Ferrier. This 246-meter ecological tower complies with "sustainable building" criteria: environmentally-friendly materials, upgradeable construction techniques and everyday respect for the environment.

The structural elements of the Hypergreen - the slabs, walls and columns - are conceived in Agilia®. This self-placing, self-leveling concrete reduces physical effort and noise pollution during the construction phase. It also offers superior esthetic qualities compared to traditional concrete.

The "outer skin", a mesh which guarantees the stability of the building, is made of Ductal®, Lafarge's ultra-high performance concrete. This reduces the amount of raw materials needed for the construction and also reduces the total weight of the building.

 

A tower that meets its own energy needs

Hypergreen uses renewable sources to meet the energy needs of its occupants. For this:

  • wind turbines at the top of the tower generate some of the electricity,
  • 3,000 m² of photovoltaic cells transform sunlight into electricity,
  • the mesh structure reduces heating and cooling requirements by regulating the ventilation of the tower,
  • rainwater is collected for use in washrooms and gardens.

 

A multipurpose tower

Hypergreen offers over 94,000 m² of usable floor space. Encompassing all facets of urban life, it has room for shops, offices, apartments, green spaces, leisure areas and parking facilities

 

A Ductal® mesh

Hypergreen adapts to climatic conditions 

The "outer skin" of the Hypergreen tower is a Ductal® mesh which optimizes the passage of natural light through the building. This mesh adjusts itself in line with the sunshine, the wind and the weather. The northern façade allows the sunshine to enter while the southern façade acts as a sunscreen and protects against overheating. The mesh also channels air towards the wind turbines on the root and enhances the tower's ventilation. Finally, it ensures the stability of the tower and makes it possible to reduce the weight of the interior structure.

Hypergreen in Paris

The Phare tower

The Hypergreen concept is based on a specific proposal made in 2006 by architect Jacques Ferrier: the Phare tower.

This project for a 300-meter skyscraper was proposed for the Paris-La-Défense business district. The subject is explored in Making of - Phare & Hypergreen towers, by Jacques Ferrier, published in February 2007 with the support of Lafarge by Archives d'Architecture Moderne (A.A.M.), Ante prima.

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