Office building for Eric Boulanger

The Office Building for Eric Boulanger utilises wood as a structural material throughout its construction.
Project Name
Atypical in its construction yet welcoming in its design.
Case Study Type
Photographer Details
Images courtesy of NZWood


The site required a building of small scale with vernacular shape, while the programme suggested the most flexible spaces possible. The research was therefore oriented towards a structure of pillars instead of bearing walls. Heaps of masonry would have been too cumbersome and columns in reinforced concrete out of context. The floors could be in reinforced concrete, in steel or in wood. The sensitivity of the client and the architect for this construction which needed to be flexible and welcoming lead them to envisage it as a large piece of wooden furniture. More than any other material wood imposes formal construction rules which influence greatly the appearance of the construction.

Architect: Samyn and Partners


The structural elements of the building, which is constructed almost entirely from wood, are made from pine, either in common sawn timber or glue-laminated elements. Dark-red meranti wood has been used for all the exposed internal and external woodwork.


The ceiling inside the building reflects natural light, with pinewood planks painted white to produce a bright, inviting interior. A focal point in the building is the main meeting room at the centre of the upper floor. The space dramatically opens out to the surrounding offices. Carefully crafted wood columns, which surround the space, allow for the wood detailing to take on a visual presence throughout the building. The overall project demonstrates the architect’s fascination with wood as a construction material right down to the smallest detail.

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