A rejuvenated head office entrance. A totally reconfigured Place des Carmes. A project symbolic of the changes in Michelin and the town.
Florent Menegaux, Chair of the Michelin Group and Olivier Bianchi, Mayor of Clermont-Ferrand, and Chair of Clermont Auvergne Métropole, along with elected officials and project stakeholders are today inaugurating the new reception building at the Michelin head office in Clermont-Ferrand, and a completely redesigned Place des Carmes.
The new Michelin reception building is environmentally friendly and innovative in both its design and use. While remaining faithful to its history, it illustrates the Group’s desire to overcome the challenges of the 21st century. It was designed by a group that brought together teams of architects and landscapers from the companies Construire, Encore Heureux and BASE, and its project management was entrusted to Léon Grosse. 85% of the companies that worked on the project are local. Priority was also given to use of regional, organically sourced, or re-used materials.
With a budget of EUR 20 million, the new reception building is more than just an entrance point. Its new 160 m-long frontage creates unity and resonates with simplicity while assuming its own language and a unique identity. Glazed extensively and protected by wooden awnings, it gives the head office a new image.
The building, now open to the public, provides transparency, and creates proximity. It acts as a transition between the town and the heart of the company. In particular, it offers an environment suited to the new trades and more collaborative working methods. For example, it boasts meeting rooms and modular spaces, intended for temporary exhibitions or employees’ children. The “Equator” café, a shared and friendly space, is open to the public and Michelin personnel, as is the store and the tropical greenhouse.
“Michelin has been constantly reinventing itself for 130 years, in order to adapt. Today, the Group is proud to be opening its new reception building, which once again illustrates the company’s strong roots in the region. This building bears witness to the recent changes at Michelin: a Group that is ever more open to its environment and focused on the town and its inhabitants. This historic production site needed a new emblem, one that projects Michelin into the future. The gamble paid off!” -Florent Menegaux, Group Michelin CEO
Considered in their entirety and carried out side-by-side, the two projects, the building, and the square, are based on a subtle sequencing leading from the public area to the private one.
“The Carmes site brings together the stories of both Michelin manufacturing and the town of Clermont-Ferrand. In order to offer a new face we wanted to combine welcoming architecture with large public spaces. We also wanted to include the tropical greenhouse in this new identity, and we have given preference to local construction materials such as wood from the Massif Central or volcanic rock from Volvic and Mont-Doreteam” -team of architects and landscapers from the companies Construire, Encore Heureux and BASE
Fully renovated and giving priority to pedestrians and eco-friendly means of transport, the new Place des Carmes is equal to the project’s ambitions. It has become a user-friendly 2.5-hectare shared space, allowing inhabitants, factory staff, visitors from across the globe and also the district’s storekeepers to enjoy planted public spaces that are calm and comfortable.
A green heart has been created and the outstanding trees have been retained. The project also gives an important place to water, with specific and fun structures that echo the Tiretaine river that runs close by.
Fulfilment of the works on the Place des Carmes was led by the town planning and landscaping agency Plan B, assisted by Ingerop for the infrastructure works and JML for the fountains, with the companies Colas and Sanchez (roads & utility services and concrete), Entreprise Électrique and Spie (lighting), Eiffage Génie Civil (civil engineering and road structures), Pallandre (green spaces) and Déal Hydraulique (fountains). The cost of these public improvement works amounts to EUR 11.8 million. A second phase of works is scheduled in order to fully transform the district.
“The new Place des Carmes heralds the Clermont-Ferrand of tomorrow: a town at the cutting edge of ecological and energy transition issues, attentive to shared living and an example in terms of quality of life. It is a shop window to what we want for our city, for its inhabitants and for future generations. More than a public space, this square is now an essential user-friendly area.” -Olivier Bianchi, Mayor of Clermont-Ferrand, and Chair of Clermont Auvergne Métropole, stated proudly