The Breton site of Exail Brest specializes in the development, production, and marketing of high-end positioning and communication equipment for underwater environments.
Following the merger of the ECA and iXblue companies, the current project aims to bring together the two companies' facilities by creating a unifying building that can accommodate all employees in the same work environment. The proposed building must be able to meet Exail's future ambitions and needs, as the company aims to double its production by 2025.
Ideally located on the cliff, facing the Atlantic Ocean and overlooking the Goulet de Brest, this exceptional site is intended to become a vector of the Exail group's image, which aims to make the future building a showcase of its technologies and know-how.
The design of the new building must meet a series of demanding challenges, ranging from the adaptability of spaces to the planned program to the minimization of the building's environmental impact, as well as the cohesion and well-being of the employees desired for this site.
The success of the project will lie in the design of a building that is adapted to Exail's growing needs, which will allow it to accommodate and bring together its various activities while meeting its development ambitions. The project will address climate issues by constructing a sustainable and reversible building with minimized environmental impact both during its construction and use.
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An exemplary building
The energy consumption of the building will have to be controlled and reduced to a strict minimum. The industrial process of photonics, which consists of melting silica at 1800°C to create optical fibres, is obviously very energy-intensive. This is why the construction must be irreproachable and must be part of an energy-saving approach.
With a view to controlling and reducing environmental impact, particular attention must be paid to the carbon impact of construction. The choice of building materials, their origin and their general impact will therefore be part of the elements taken into account by the project owner in order to choose the project that will best fit into its environment.
Anticipating the evolution of the building in terms of its needs and operation is essential to meet current environmental challenges. In a reversible approach, it will be imperative that the design alleviates as much as possible the cost of possible future adaptations of the site.One of the main qualities of the project will therefore be to allow for the evolution of uses and programmatic assignments by space and on the scale of the building over the next 10 to 20 years.
A showcase of Exail maritime technologies
Exail is positioned at the forefront of French and international high-tech industrial groups.The planned building, open to the ocean and ideally located on one of the points of Finistère, will have to take advantage of this exceptional site in order to assert this positioning and reflect Exail's technological excellence.
Reflecting an ambition for cutting-edge technologies with a positive impact, the building should embody the company's image as a major global player in its fields of expertise.
Collective intelligence, comfort and attractiveness
One of the major challenges of the project will be to create a building capable of accommodating the group's new needs, by proposing intelligent and innovative solutions, both in terms of logistics, industry and human resources.The project aims to create a building with optimal production conditions, offering an ideal and fruitful cohabitation between the different teams and activities of the site.The spaces should be designed as a porous ensemble for the exchange of ideas, talents and resources; where knowledge sharing and positive, multidisciplinary collaboration are part of the daily life of the site's users.The project also aims, through this approach, to constitute a showcase for Exail towards its current employees, and to reinforce its attractiveness in the job market, towards its future employees.
May 26th, 2023 - registration deadline
June 15th, 2023 - project site visit
September 8th, 2023 - project submission deadline
September 15th, 2023 - project presentation
Studies & works
September 2023 - winning team selection
June 2025 - delivery of works
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The iXcampus project is part of a university development process for the area, orchestrated by the city and CY Cergy Paris Université, with the aim of welcoming 6,000 students, including those from Sciences Po Saint-Germain-en-Laye and the Lycées International et Horticole. By 2024, in addition to the outdoor facilities that will give the campus a real identity, and a 5,000sqm underground parking lot to accommodate all the vehicles on the site, iXcampus plans to build two new buildings and raise an existing building:
The Northern Building - 12,000sqm
Inserted between the recently renovated 1950s building to the south and the wooded area along the RN13 to the north, the 12,000sqm building will include 1,500sqm of incubator space, 4,000sqm of business incubator space, a 500sqm digital FabLab, 1,200sqm of restaurant space, and 4,500sqm of space dedicated to a higher education institution.
These different programmatic entities will have to interact with each other by eliminating their borders to optimize human interaction. The building must be the breeding ground for synergies between companies, startups and students. As such, it is essential that it be scalable and allow for the adaptation of spaces as the occupants change.
The Eastern building - 3,000sqmLocated on the eastern tip of the site, between the RN13 and Rue de la Croix de Fer, this building of approximately 3000m² will be delivered as a bare plateau and will be able to accommodate one or more higher education and research establishments. It will be designed to function independently and ensure a certain permeability with the campus.
The extensions - 1,000sqm
Building A, the former headquarters of the Ford company, was recently renovated and now houses a 4,000m² business incubator as well as classes for the CY tech university in Cergy. The two east and west wings of the building are to be raised in order to extend the capacity of the incubator and to create the offices of iXcampus.
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