Caran d’Ache Factory
Geneva, 2022

Located in the outskirts of Geneva, the site will anchor a new district, Eco Parc, where Caran d'Ache, a world pioneer in the manufacturing of color pencils, will be one of its first residents. The intent is to build a factory with excellent working conditions that also reflects the joyful image of the Caran d'Ache brand. The program of the building is neither complicated nor simple, due to the complex planning regulations of the site. Our goal: to reinstate the dimension of pleasure through architecture.

Simultaneously minimalist and colorful, the factory is organized in three separate parts. The first is for production, the factory itself. A rectangular loop on two levels, suspended above the ground in Phase I, provides both flexibility and natural light. Administration is located on the roof and easily accessible, encouraging interaction between "blue-collar" and "white-collar" workers. The second part is product arrival, departure, and storage, located at the northern entrance to the site. Third, a welcoming hexagonal volume provides space for the Visitors Center, a place for learning about Caran d'Ache's history and how its pencils are made. Each of these parts has its own constructive and functional identity, but belongs to the same family. The circulation is absolutely rational but encourages convivial encounters.

The phasing of construction and the parking space required specific invention on the part of the architects. The challenge was to offer a solution that worked from Phase I while retaining both functionality and visual identity in Phase II. more

Program: Offices