Located at the bank of the Seine, surrounded by a forest of significant archeological heritage, the N80 building will be the construction site of the LLPM, the core module for the launch vehicle Ariane 6. Upon delivery, the LLPM is transported to Magellan platform, which runs along the northern face of the factory in a barge that leads up to the Havre port. It’s in this port where the LLPM is taken to Kourou, in Guyane, the Ariane’s launch site.

The studio aimed to achieve the highest compactness volume for the building in order to preserve the green plot adyacent to the river. Following our previous experiences in aeronautical projects, a work in process methodology was adopted right from the start, since this approach prioritises the client's input in the design process from its conception up to its final outcome: in every case, it is not a matter of delivering an architectural proposal in the sense of a sculptural work, but rather to provide a structure that fits the spatial requierements of the industrial process like a glove.

The concept of lean manufacture prompted us to prioritise a series of relationships and heights, while optimising the manufacting process of the piece. In the aim of creating a continuous flow, the different pieces are organised in base of their functionality and continuity. Moreover, they are combined in bars, a form that we found particularly suitable and intuitive for the horizontal manufacture of LLPM. These bars are volumetrically organised, the required heights vary depending on their functionalities as well as the appropriate handling tool.

It is through this process that we came to develop the concept of a building recreating a hangar with adjoining flanks, which assemble the functionalities and heights, while sliding in between each other in order to optimise the factory's functionings. The working spaces were implemented following the principle of a push-pull dynamic flow.

This volumetric and fragmentation approach, loyal to the factory's manufacturing process itself, provides an agreeable solution for the neighbouring residents of the N80's new factory site, even more, considering it is located near the aerodrome and that it can be seen from the residential district located in the opposite bank of the river Seine. On the other hand, this geometrical freedom is a guarantee for possible extensions while safeguarding the integrity of the architectural object. We can easily imagine subsequent metamorphosis of the building in response to incidental program variations or future add ons in the course of time.








Setec Bâtiment


24 500 m² SDP


Construction d'un bâtiment d'intégration et de fabrication du "Lower Liquid Propulsion Module" pour le lanceur Ariane6.