arrow-down linkedin minus plus

The Caran d’Ache factory, Geneva

Bringing the new Caran d’Ache factory to life represents a challenge and a major strategic investment for the Geneva-based company. The project’s architectural concept centres around a consideration of the modular nature of the structures and spaces created.

The arrangement of these structures and spaces is the result of considering what is solid and what is empty, carving out patios to create a rich spatial and bright quality, as well as openings looking out over the surrounding countryside. Three separate structures can be discerned through their alignment with each of the façades, and form three distinct entrances for visitors, staff and logistics. All of the manufacturing processes are arranged around a central storage area. The industrial production workshops are distributed across both the ground floor and the first floor, while the second floor is home to the administrative staff, Haute Écriture and manual packing, and benefits from a calm atmosphere and unobstructed views of the countryside and the patios. The canteen and the adjoining terrace provide space for all employees to meet and interact. The building’s structure is formed of a double-skin timber frame with metal ties, taking inspiration from the use of wood for the manufacturing of the pencils.  The façade picks up the folds of the bottom section of the metal tin that the pencils are presented in.

Invited architectural competition
1st prize

Société Caran d'Ache SA
Nicola Chong, Hector Arderius, Chiara Gelpi, Chloé Masse, Ghoulam Otmani, Giulio Parini, Matthieu Rapin, Kim Maeder, Clément Patin