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Oui Care headquarters: a timelessly elegant beacon thanks to Granite® Silky Shine

Oui Care, France’s leading provider of home care services, had significant ambitions when they began to plan their new headquarters in Le Mans. Located on an extremely small site near the main train station, the building needed to accommodate a range of different functions including office space, training areas, and communal spaces. To ensure the building was immediately visible to staff who come from across France for events, Oui Care wanted a bright design that could be recognised from passing trains. Architects AIA Life Designers chose ArcelorMittal’s Granite® Silky Shine organic coated steel to fulfil the brief. Over 4000 square metres of panels were provided by Ateliers 3S in their Cadence® profile, ensuring the building’s aesthetics and timeless elegance.

Detailed information

An award-winning design and finish

Oui Care’s new headquarters offers its employees 600 offices over 7500 metres square and five accessible terraces over 1078 metres square in addition to 184 parking spaces and a day care on the ground floor of the building. As well as work and meeting spaces, the building provides employees with spaces to enhance the quality of their working life. This includes green terraces, a cafeteria, internal and external recreational spaces, and areas for physical activity and sports.

Each floor enjoys views and light on the four facades of the building, while multiple floors benefit from access to the green terraces. Linked together by external staircases, the option to move around the building via the outdoors brings a wider sense of space to this small site.

The site is easily accessible due to its location in the immediate vicinity of the Le Mans TGV rail station, but it also encourages employees to cycle to work thanks to numerous cycle paths.

The outstanding design and finish of the building was awarded the 2021 SIMI Grand Prix for an office building of up to 10 000 square metres. The SIMI awards are presented annually to outstanding examples of commercial real estate in France.

From bronze to gold

One of the most striking things about the Oui Care building is the colour of the Granite® Silky Shine. Architect François Renaudineau from AIA Life Designers explains: “We wanted a special colour that was warm and echoed the natural tones of the train tracks which lie immediately to the north of the building. The Granite® Silky Shine palette includes many different options. The colour we chose changes from bronze to gold depending on the time of day and season.”

Granite® Silky Shine is a prepainted steel for facade systems with a high-gloss luxurious skin that enhances the visibility and impact value of buildings. Available in an elegant colour range, it offers excellent colour stability over time. The glittering finishes of Granite® Silky Shine are particularly suitable for designing prestigious architectural facades such as this.

Eye-catching ribs

The raised lines on the Cadence® profiles form ‘ribs’ which add to the visual interest of the facade. “The effect of the ribs is amplified by the finish of the Granite® Silky Shine,” notes Julien Faisandier, CEO of Ateliers 3S. “Cadence® was developed to make it easy for designers to control the randomness of the design. The range includes ten triangular and ten square patterns. When combined, they provide millions of possible combinations.”

The design of the Cadence® profiles enabled the AIA Life Designers team to create a facade with ribs that are arranged in a seemingly random pattern notes François Renaudineau: “The randomness interrupts your visual flow as you look at the building and gives each level its own identity. And the triangular ribs accentuate the colour change and provide interesting shadows.”

The panels were produced by Ateliers 3S and placed by BMTI Construction. BMTI is a French company which specialises in the construction and renovation of industrial, domestic, and architectural buildings.

Design, cost, aesthetic, and durability requirements: all met with steel

Despite initial concerns from the customer that steel would make their building look too industrial, AIA Life Designers specified a steel facade early in the design process. “There were three main considerations,” says François Renaudineau. “Firstly, we wanted a good material that would work with the wood subframe that supports the panels. Our second consideration was cost. And finally, we wanted a special colour that was warm and inviting. Granite® Silky Shine fulfilled all these criteria. In the end, the customer found the result to be very chic!”

Granite® Silky Shine is also more durable than other materials. “The north side of the building is very exposed to rain and cold,” notes François Renaudineau. “Wood was also considered, but the long-term durability and maintenance of this material meant it was ruled out. Steel offered the durability required, and it was light and easy to source. The colours are also a big plus for Granite® Silky Shine. And the folds in the Cadence® panels ensure great aesthetics.”

Granite® Silky Shine has been developed to take into account all building facade requirements: formability, scratch resistance, and easy cleaning.

Project information

  • Le Mans
  • France
  • 2021
  • Architect:
    AIA Life Designers
  • Project owner:
    Oui Care (SCI Oui Home)
  • Engineering firm:
    AIA Ingénierie
  • Text:
    ArcelorMittal Europe Communications
  • Photos:
    © Xavier Renauld/AIA Life Designers
    © Xavier Renauld