Clichy Black

BLACK: Largest low-carbon building in France clad in charred Accoya wood



Clichy-La-Garenne will become the largest low-carbon building in France

Clichy-La-Garenne will become the largest low-carbon building in France

An urban renewal project in the Parisian suburb of Clichy-La-Garenne will become the largest low-carbon building in France.

The bustling 47,000m2 urban campus, known as BLACK, is set to provide users with a true ‘workplace of tomorrow’ by creating a sustainable and inspiring modern workspace within commutable distance from La Défense, Paris- the busiest business district in Europe.

BLACK is a unique project which has been designed with sustainability at its core. Situated right beside Parc des Impressionists, the project’s ethical design blends nature’s elements with unique architecture to create a space that sits in harmony with its surroundings.

The distinctive timber cladding has undergone the Japanese charring technique of Shou Sugi Ban. This ancient art involves burning the wood to create a decorative and protective layer of charcoal on its surface.

By opting for a façade using Accoya timber that has been treated using this process, the architect saved 1,000 tons of CO2 without compromising on performance.

The carbon savings resulted from the fact that the initial design had recommended the use of aluminum. The decision to replace this with charred Accoya wood was one of a number of material decisions made to enhance the building’s environmental performance and credentials.

Overall, the use of low-carbon materials resulted in a saving of 3,000 tons of carbon[1].

The charred wood façade is installed on the GRAD railing system to combine modernity with the traditional. The GRAD system holds the wood in place while remaining completely hidden to preserve the building’s unique biophilic design.



Emmanuel Combarel, director at Emmanuel Combarel Dominique Marrec Architectes (ECDM), said:

“At the genesis of the project, there was the belief that a workspace should be conceived as a response to the aspirations of our time. The aim was to create a less secluded place, and therefore more open to our environment. […] The park was the starting point for us to develop offices within a garden.

“The project takes place in a location where the city is transforming. […] The building is black and understated; it speaks of material and work on the material, of wood and protective carbon. It is black, without color, it addresses the daylight or night time to reveal multiple reflections, a shell that already carries a lot of history. […] Many elements of the facade […] allow for modulation of its relationship with its environment and natural control of its climatology.[1]



Laurens Notenboom, head of sales for France at Accsys, added:

“Using Accoya aligns with the sustainability criteria of the project. BLACK embodies a vision for urban developments of the future. Its low carbon credentials place it amongst the most ambitious projects in France.

“We worked closely with Henry Timber, who supplied the Accoya, profiled to the specific size for this unique project.

“The project is another result of the great partnership between Accoya, Henry Timber and Les Bruleurs de Bois within the established value chain in the French market– and the first one involving a low carbon cladding application. The GRAD clipping system has been used with the ultra-high performing wood; with Accoya being chosen for its durability, stability in Shou Sugi Ban form and its high sustainability credentials.”



Henry Timber worked with Les Bruleurs de Bois, who completed all the charring on Accoya for the BLACK’s exterior. Les Bruleurs de Bois are one of few manufacturers in France mastering the art of charring wood using the ancestral Japanese Shou Sugi Ban technique.

Project information:

  • Client: Redman
  • Architect: Emmanuel Combarel Dominique Marrec Architectes (ECDM)
  • Area 47,000 m2
  • Quantity of Accoya wood: 6740 m2
  • Charring: Les Bruleurs de Bois
  • Accoya distributor: Henry Timber
  • Clip system: Grad
  • Year: 2023

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