The Offices of Pons + Huot a ‘Forest Through the Table’ is the Paris headquarters of these two companies with a total of fifteen executives. Christian Pottgiesser’s design was a unique response, creating a unit that has seven individual rooms for each director and one open-space-office for the remaining eight clerks. In addition there is one (divisible) meeting-room, a common recreational room, a kitchen, rest rooms, and, at the special request of the patron, lush vegetation all over the main space.
The base for the construction was a rotten industrial hall built in the late 19th century with a steel framework typical for the period. It is rumoured that Gustave Eiffel realized it.
To start with, the hall was completely restored and a new self-cleaning glass roof was fitted. A wooden unit of solid oak, 1,7 m high, 22 m long and 14 m wide, was then inserted into the space.
Each individual workplace is incised into the wooden surface and covered by a ‘telephone’-dome in Plexiglas. The four lateral surfaces contain archives, cloakrooms and the kitchen. Completely embedded in the body are the meeting room, the recreational room and the restrooms. The remaining space is taken up by technical transmission systems (computer, electricity, air condition, heating and water) and also by 18,3 m3 of soil, the bed for eight Ficus Panda trees.
Neither entrance hall nor reception were implemented, since visitors are guided by a peripheral path-system leading to all pertinent rooms. The individual offices are situated on both galleries.
This project received the 2008 Contract World Award and the Best of Category TIA Best of Office Architecture Award for 2008.