As threats continue to mount, companies and organisations across the world have to continually review their security measures to ensure safety to public, personnel and property. Even UNESCO, which states its purpose as being to ‘encourage international peace and universal respect for human rights by promoting collaboration among nations’ found itself in the position of having to review and strengthen the security of the headquarter buildings in Paris in the light of the continuing concerns.
Having identified a need, UNESCO reviewed expressions of interest from architects across the world and compared tender bids before selecting the design proposed by Laurence Carminati and Yann Keromnes, whose idea was to building an entirely transparent building. This transformed what could have been a mere security checkpoint into a formal reception which combines work, reflection, patience and purpose to create a ‘smart building’ which is in harmony with the organisation, the site and the function.
The new entrance to the UNESCO headquarters elevates a security checkpoint to a ‘smart building’
The building receives a very high daily flow of people: there are more than 1,400 staff, plus visitors, conference attendees and delegations who visit the building. Ensuring everyone passes quickly through the security controls is critical to maintaining security, which is why the architects chose to install Fastlane R400MA turnstiles for entrance control. These turnstiles offer unrivalled processing speeds coupled with an aesthetic design which sits comfortably in a building designed to put everything on display. “The elegance and simplicity of the design affect the image of the access control. Security is no longer seen as an obstacle, but as a passage that the visitor crosses freely. The compact design and the effectiveness in terms of access reinforced our choice of the R400MA for entrance control of the UNESCO headquarters,” commented the architects Laurence Carminati and Yann Keromnes.
The pared back design of the R400MA sits comfortably in the new transparent entrance to the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris
The architects at the heart of the design of the new entrance located in Place de Fontenoy in Paris were able to create an ‘effective response to functional and technical criteria in keeping with the security constraints, which expresses both serenity and simplicity’, according to UNESCO. Carminati and Keromnes described their building as ‘a futuristic projection where only the essential remains: thoughts, space, geometry, materials and light. An 18 meter long glass panel has transformed the gateway and window as it breaks the curbed architecture of the existing building.’
The architects also had strong views on ensuring the purpose of the building wasn’t forgotten in the design, “For everyone’s safety, the speed at which the Fastlanes control the flow is paramount. If there is no optimisation of the flows of people and groups, and if everyone ends up waiting to enter the building, entrance will be slowed down, which would compromise the safety and security of the visitors and the ability of security officers to intervene if necessary.”
The turnstile installation and integration was undertaken by Clemencon and the products provided through Fastlane France, a subsidiary of Integrated Design Limited.