France: a public building designed by Zaha Hadid

22 February 2011

As part of an urban development program in the city of Montpellier (France), the department called on the well-known architect Zaha Hadid for the design of a 28,500m² complex housing the departmental archives, a library and the departmental sports division.


Over 27,000m³ of concrete was required for the construction of this building, whose shape is reminiscent of a horizontal tree trunk. The external façade of the complex is made of more than 1,000 prefabricated sections, representing more than 2,600m³ of concrete. LafargeHolcim supplied CEM I 52,5R CE CP2 NF cement from its plant in Teil (South of France) used by manufacturer Delta Préfa to design all pieces.

This grey cement mixed with white limestone aggregates was used to make concrete which met the site's requirements for precise color of material, plasticity allowing the pouring of specific shapes and resistance enabling the turning out and handling of molds.