France’s Stream Building aims to drive urban innovation forward

A living organism empowering community transformation

Photography by Olivier Ouadah
Caption Photography by Olivier Ouadah

One of the great performances of the project is the raw and visible timber, which gives the building a strong identity and a low carbon weight. This design will be considered as innovation over time because it is something becoming more difficult today given the new regulations.

Léa Renaud, project director, Hines France

What’s the Point?

The bold development of the new Stream Building breathes new life into a blighted area on the urban edge of Paris. From urban agriculture to an innovative coworking space learn how this “resource building” is shaping the community through a 24/7 living platform that embodies a forward-thinking vision where society's development revolves around the well-being and empowerment of its people.

Revitalizing an Urban Edge

It takes a village to change a neighborhood, but that’s exactly what’s underway by Hines France, PCA-STREAM, and Covivio – the three partners have come together to create the Stream Building, a 16,000-square-meter mixed-use building. The project has emerged as a revolutionary project that encompasses sustainable design, vibrant urban living, and community engagement situated in the heart of Clichy-Batignolles, Paris.

As a key component of the Clichy-Batignolles urban development zone, this contemporary structure acts as a bridge, connecting Paris with its outskirts and rejuvenating the once-neglected urban edge area. Winner of the “Réinventer Paris” competition in 2015, the mixed-use space includes 25% of services open to the public, 25% accommodation and 50% workplaces.

The Stream Building is located adjacent to the Boulevard Périphérique ring road, and serves as a transformative force, revitalizing the former site of the "Zone," an area notorious for shantytowns in the past. By breathing new life into this urban edge, the building fosters a closer connection between Paris and Clichy-Batignolles, offering an attractive and highly accessible destination for both residents and visitors alike.

A Habitat of Activity

The Stream Building is a true embodiment of the "15-minute city" concept, bringing together various activities within its walls. Designed as a "resource building," it serves as a vibrant hub for mixed urban life. Through a participatory process in collaboration with the civic engagement platform Fluicity, the building's ground floor was designed to meet the identified needs of the neighborhood. It houses a range of amenities such as a brewery, sandwich parlor, salad bar, and two grocery stores, catering to the diverse requirements of the local community.

Additionally, the building features a solidarity hub and coworking space, managed in partnership with the City of Paris Department of Attractiveness and Employment. With five levels of open, bright, offices, the highly flexible workspaces foster the well-being of employees. The offices boast an innovative reception area via a “third place” called the Stream Café, designed as a space for welcoming, networking, and relaxation, but also thinking, as reflected in its extensive library focused on Stream’s research interests. This collaborative environment not only provides workspace but also supports neighborhood organizations, fostering a sense of community and shared purpose.

Photography by Olivier Ouadah
Caption Photography by Olivier Ouadah

A Living Organism

The architectural design of the Stream Building goes beyond the conventional notion of a static structure. It embraces the concept of metabolism, viewing the building as a living organism rather than an ordinary building. The circular synergies within the building's different areas enable it to function as a productive organism, processing resources and promoting sustainability.

On its rooftop, the Stream Building showcases an innovative approach to urban agriculture. Collaborating with the startup Topager, the building incorporates over 300 m² of chemical-free urban agriculture alongside nearly 400 m² of photovoltaic panels. This productive rooftop garden yields fresh produce, which is cultivated based on meetings between the market gardener and the building's restaurants. By embracing agrivoltaics, a practice that combines agricultural activities with solar energy production, the building mitigates the heat island effect, absorbs rainwater, and contributes to a short and efficient food supply chain.

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Co-CEO Laura Hines-Pierce and France country head Xavier Musseau tour the rooftop gardens
Caption Co-CEO Laura Hines-Pierce and France country head Xavier Musseau tour the rooftop gardens

Prototype for Sustainable Construction

The Stream Building stands as a pioneering example of sustainable construction. Its mixed timber-concrete structure optimizes its carbon footprint, and an ambitious prefabrication system enables a rapid and minimally disruptive construction process. The modular structural grid fosters reversibility, allowing for future conversions of office spaces into residential units and vice versa without requiring major structural transformations. This adaptability ensures that the building can evolve along with the changing needs of the community.

Long-Term Commitment to Innovation

As an experimental project, the Stream Building is committed to continuous improvement and innovation. Covivio and Hines France will conduct annual reviews for ten years, evaluating the building's performance and incorporating feedback on implemented innovations. Monitoring by Topager and PCA-STREAM will assess biodiversity and the quality of agricultural production harvested within the building. This long-term commitment to research and development will pave the way for future advancements in low-carbon architecture.

The Stream Building has had a profound impact on the local community in Clichy-Batignolles. Through its diverse amenities, coworking spaces, and emphasis on sustainability, the building has become a focal point for community engagement. With its innovative design and commitment to ongoing research, the Stream Building sets a new standard for sustainable and community-oriented construction projects.