The large-scale refurbishment project of a 9,200m2 complex located at 46-48 avenue de la Grande Armée will host the future global headquarters of Sanofi in 2022.
The architectural intervention on the building combining Art Deco and Industrial styles has several purposes. On one hand, revalue the blind spaces of the lower levels and give the building a greater visibility and openness to the city. On the other hand, meet the regulations norms and reach the current standards of an office building in terms of staffing and comfort of use.
The restructuration of the historical patio and the creation of an agora now allows the two buildings to connect, whose facades have been entirely preserved, while enhancing the free heights and bringing in natural light. The ground floor and the first floor are open to the central atrium by hoppers and peripheral galleries. The central space, bathed in natural light and accessible by a large, inhabited staircase, is visible from the double-height hall on the Avenue de la Grande Armée. It thus becomes a unifying element and the main symbol of the project. Various service spaces dedicated to users are scattered around the central atrium: Lobby, business center, cafeteria, informal exchange space, etc.
On the roof, an elevation is created on R+7 of the Grande Armée building. This glazed extension and its roof are connected to the existing R+7 and R+8 levels on the Rue de Brunel building. This new space, overlooking the central atrium, offers its users a privileged space with an exceptional view of the Parisian landscape. The slate roof of the attic is extended to form a thick railing for the terrace. The glazed elevation is designed using full-height sliding windows, and is topped with a zinc-colored cap recalling the shape of the attics of the neighboring Parisian buildings. The framework, steel joinery, openings and solar protection are treated in a contemporary vocabulary and adapted to current construction methods.
At first, what could look like a simple space organization, actually hides a complex structural project. This was only possible through a surgical analysis of the site and its specificities, as evidenced by the unique mesh of the extension’s frame, the construction of an invisible frame at R+6 to allow the R+7 elevation, or even the work on the existing beam corbels to allow them to have the right height for this ambitious project.Paying homage to the Art Deco and Industrial styles that perfectly blend together, the 9,640 m2 complex is adorned with noble, high-performance and sustainable materials such as cut stone, wood or felt. True to his global vision of architecture, Franklin Azzi has left no stone unturned, designing even the auditorium seats.
Grande Armée perfectly incarnates the values and methods of the agency. One of them is to preserve and enhance the existing features and its patrimonial heritage, which first starts with a deep analysis and a thorough comprehension of the buildings and their historical heritage. The project respects the existing building and its heritage history through the research of archives, give priority to the enhancement of the existing building, anticipate new uses from the design phase, limitate the second work and use noble and durable materials.