French architecture studio h2o architectes have completed a press conference room for the French Ministry of Agriculture. The architects sought to transform a purely utilitarian space, located in a monument listed for Historical Monuments Preservation, into an area of representation and communication for the Minister and its politicians.
The intervention is especially striking in the treatment of the ceiling, where a high number of technical equipments and utilities needed to be integrated. The suspended ceiling now comprehends a series of boxes with variable altimetry. The slits between the boxes allow for a soft light to diffuse into the space. The depth of the ceiling and the technicality of the wooden boxes allow to conceal and insert all technical constraints and equipment (structural beams holding the four upper floors, ventilation, lighting and public address system, acoustic treatment). Random perforation of the ceiling panels allows for better acoustics and creates a diffusing light in the entire room. The Koto wood used in the ceiling panels echoes the colours and tones as well as the patterns to be found in the flooring, tying the volume together.
A grid acts as a matrix to organize the different elements from the floor to the ceiling. Simultaneously, a generous undulation expands on the floating ceiling, covering the entire room.