Aluminum, Wood Complement in Envelope Design


The three-story la Licorne office building, located in Laval, France, seems to emit a golden glow thanks to its ornate facade, which is composed of sections of perforated golden- and silver-colored aluminum set at contrasting angles along the building’s exterior.

Both the building and facade were designed by Paris-based architecture firm Périphériques. The 24,000-square-foot building houses enough space for a number of startups while also fostering collaboration with large, shared collective spaces.

Licorne Office Building

The spirit of la Licorne, which translates to “the Unicorn,” extends to the use of gold (as a color) in the building, which flows from the interior to the golden-colored aluminum to be found along the exterior. The facade is designed to account for the path of the sun, the perforated metallic fins contributing to dynamic lighting inside as the day progresses.

“The specific design of each facade depends on sun exposure in a way that it maximizes the contributions and protections,” the architects write. “The interplay of sunshade point out the entrance and gives the facade a subtle kinetic aspect.”

The central courtyard features a floating exterior staircase that connects different floors with the roof terrace. The offices face outward from the space, while the facade features 4-inch-wide thick wooden slats, set along a 4-foot grid at a slight inclination, designed to create an intimate atmosphere.

“The acoustics within the courtyard patios are very interesting, producing an effect that makes the outdoors feel more like an interior space,” Emmanuelle Marin, principal at Périphériques.

Overall office design follows the current trend of transparency and flexibility, facilitated by light infiltration, circulation and a sense of privacy. Workers are able to choose rooms that best suit their personal needs, yet the spirit of communication and collaboration remains.

The office, built by Antoine Roy / MIRO, was designed for SEM Laval Mayenne Aménagements.


Tagged categories: Architecture; Building facades; Color + Design; Color + Design; Design; Europe; Office Buildings

Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.