PCA-STREAM is an urban and architectural design firm based in Paris. The wide range of missions it undertakes is remarkable in the industry. PCA-STREAM brings together a team of 90 collaborators of diverse backgrounds and talents: architects, city planners, engineers, designers, artists, researchers, editors, and the like. Its multidisciplinary team and the variety of scales and projects that the members undertake have made them experts in building with a holistic view of global processes and issues.
The practice in numbers :
— 87 collaborators
— 43 women
— 44 men
— 13 nationalities
— 25% of foreign collaborators
— Average age: 36 years old
— Parity index: 74%
Gender equality indicators:
— Pay gap: 39/40
— Difference in the rate of individual increases: 35/35
— Percentage of female employees who received a raise upon returning from maternity leave: 15/15
— Number of employees of the under-represented gender among the 10 highest paid: 10/10
— Gender equality index: 99/100
The firm is comprised of a transversal and multidisciplinary research cluster (STREAM LAB), a design hub (which works on a wide variety of topics that range from urban planning to interior architecture), and an operational unit (whose teams work directly on construction sites). Thanks to the transfer of knowledge and the continuous dialogue between these different hubs of experts, the firm cross-fertilizes its modus operandi and its way of thinking.
Understanding the big picture
Research informs PCA-STREAM’s global and multidisciplinary understanding of the transformations and challenges facing the world today. The firm brings together thinkers, researchers, and entrepreneurs from all walks of life, to accompany it in the different stages of its projects. Research is conducted at the STREAM LAB and findings are disseminated: both digitally, on its web platform, and in print, in the book-magazine STREAM.
Economic globalization, the urban explosion, the digital revolution, and the environmental crisis are new challenges facing the world today. An in-depth understanding of these transformations and of their impact on new uses gives PCA-STREAM a forward-looking vantage point that it uses to formulate innovative programs. These programs are adapted to the world of tomorrow and to the territories in which they will be constructed. STREAM LAB’s role is to produce the strategic studies that will help shape the projects.
A nexus of collaboration
The firm calls on an extensive network of multidisciplinary partners with whom it develops advanced collaborative project processes. PCA-STREAM is always looking out for fresh perspectives, be they from start-ups, non-profits, communities, researchers, designers or artists. Thought leaders are invited to take part in projects or to share their vision in the articles or talks that are disseminated on PCA-STREAM’s platform. Over the years, the firm has formed a network of trusted expert partners that is key to renewing its outlook and design.
PCA-STREAM’s expertise covers a wide spectrum of scales of intervention. Its dedicated team of interior architects is passionate about interior architecture; its architectural projects to date range from 500 to 110,000 sqm; and it is even involved in urban planning projects. PCA-STREAM is proud not to limit itself to a narrow specialization at a time and age where programmatic thinking appears to be key to transforming cities. PCA-STREAM tackles all types of programs as long as there is a desire to reinvent them: offices, commercial spaces, museums, housing, hotels, skyscrapers, and even whole urban districts.
Research findings can only be tested out in construction projects: beyond theory, architecture must prove itself and pass the test of production and use. Over the past five years, PCA-STREAM has thus constructed almost 200,000 sqm of urban space, and an additional 150,000 sqm are scheduled in the next two years. The firm is renowned for its capacity to run construction sites and architectural projects as well as large-scale urban projects of great complexity. To improve its performance, PCA-STREAM draws on specialized collaborators and partnerships with general contractors, and conducts feedback workshops and satisfaction surveys after the interventions are put in place.
Promoting the projects
Since its inception, PCA-STREAM has painstakingly documented its projects from the first stages of construction to the buildings in use. In order to be able to look back on its architectural developments, PCA-STREAM has an integrated editorial expertise with PCA Éditions, which regularly publishes work that retraces the adventure of a given project. Its publications, documentaries, films, and articles are shared on its digital platform and aim to bring together those who will make the city of tomorrow and its extended community.
An arena for thought and production
The working spaces were restructured from an old printing shop located in a residential courtyard at the heart of the Marais district. The multidisciplinary firm has replaced the old industrial structure of the printing shop, marking the transition into a new era of production, from Fordist industrial capitalism to cognitive capitalism.
The firm is organized as a hub with three spokes that interconnect around the courtyard:
- The PCA cluster, with two stories around a patio, regroups the project teams, the workshop where our architectural models are crafted, a collection of engineering materials, and the various meeting rooms;
- The STREAM LAB, which is located in an adjoining house, and which relies on production tools such as a screening room and a photo studio;
- The Co-working space, which is located upstairs, and is open to external resources including a dining area / focus space.
Spaces and resources to support innovation
The firm is organized in a way that ensures fluidity between theoretical and practical activities. The connection between different places is reinforced through the use of transparency between different areas. We value creativity, initiative, co-design, and innovation in the way we work. To foster serendipity, we have meeting zones that encourage formal and informal interactions between team members, external resources, and guests: meeting rooms, the outside patio, skylights throughout the entire complex, a brainstorming room at the first floor at Stream Lab, and a collective kitchen in the co-working space.
Specific places have been designed and developed within the firm to accompany and support the development of varied and innovative projects:
- A resource center / library containing over 300 references;
- A recording and photo shooting studio for interviews with different STREAM speakers;
- A twenty-one-seat auditorium with a projection screen for conferences, screenings, and presentations;
- A collection of engineering materials, a architectural model workshop, and a projected fab lab.
A work environment promoting well-being
To address the emerging collaborative and open work patterns, PCA-STREAM is focusing on creating a friendly and adaptable environment, where quality of life is key. The spaces and atmosphere at the firm are specifically tailored to this new paradigm.
Preference is given to natural light throughout the complex. The basement patio creates a skylight around which the open-plan office and the project platforms are spread out. Because nature plays a vital role in the quality of life of places, the complex is built around a courtyard with trees. The green patio offers a place to work outside, to carry out informal meetings, to have lunch and to organize events.
Different spaces allow for varying levels of closeness and can adapt to the various situations that the staff find themselves in throughout the day—building models, fabricating products, eating, resting, making calls or watching movies, working inside or outside, alone or with others.
A canteen reserved for the employees of the agency is set up next to the co-working space, directly accessible by the lift from the agency. A chef is invited to cook meals based on fresh produce. The employees meet once a week around these moments of gourmet and convivial break.