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Thanks to PCA-STREAM’s project, the complex at 173–175 Haussmann recovers an urban legibility that measuring up to its exceptional location a stone’s throw away from Place de l’Étoile, magnified by a majestic entrance at the bow of the building. Finally brought together in a coherent manner, via an overhaul of distribution, the new complex offers floors that are flexible, open, bright and pleasant, fitted out by RF Studio with a view to addressing the challenges of tomorrow’s workspaces. They are supplemented with outstanding common areas designed by PCA-STREAM, including a triple-height atrium serving as a new village square for employees, but also a livable landscaped terrace. A hybrid glass roof crowns the unique contemporary elevation and creates a new beacon in the Parisian cityscape, offering a new identity to 175 Haussmann, between heritage and modernity, reflecting the values upheld by the lessee, Lazard, for whom these spaces have been finely tuned.
In line with its research-action approach, which emphasizes analysis and collective intelligence over the architect’s gesture, PCA STREAM conceived the transformation of 175 Haussmann following an approach devoid of any surfeit formalism, providing answers to the diagnosis of the complex and to the strategic vision imagined for its redeployment.
RESTORING LEGIBILITY AND COHERENCE
The primary objective was to restore a high level of visibility and legibility to the building from the street. By freeing up the ground floor of No. 175, the accesses could be shifted to the tip of the building in the form of a majestic, well-aligned entrance. The entrance is then magnified by providing ample clear height with a large chandelier, producing an ample and spectacular volume. The restructuring brought the inside up to date, adapting it to contemporary standards while also restoring coherence to the whole. Circulations were clarified by putting to use a new battery of elevators, a core and redesigned floors, fully erasing the border between the two buildings.
ACTING AS A BEACON
Driven by the ambition of providing a beacon in the urban landscape, PCA-STREAM relied on the idea of raising the construction to give a new image and a new impetus to the complex, while also optimizing its surfaces. The first of the additional floors was built in stone, in order to respect the balance of the masses, followed by two floors under a glass roof, of a more contemporary spirit, giving the whole a unique aesthetic. The glass roof reinvents the identity of 175 Haussmann by contributing a very contemporary feature to be integrated into the historical and heritage context of the district. This iconic landmark illustrates the new symbolic role of the head office, which must embody the image and values of the company. A place to see and to see from, the singular spaces under this glass roof, midways between interior and exterior, also become a tool for community-building.
ADDRESSING THE OFFICE’S NEW STRATEGIC ROLE
175 Haussmann had to respond to the changes in the way we work, which has become a key issue to consider for companies designing or reimagining their headquarters. In only ten years, office buildings have gone from being conceived of as cost centers and run by facility managers to becoming strategic management tools steered by senior management. They are now an embodiment of corporate identity and are expected to generate pride and a sense of belonging among employees, but also to attract new talent. Through their comfort, their layout, and the quality of their spatial design, they become a community space, promoting new agile and collaborative working methods. The number, size and quality of common spaces allow them to promote the informal circulation of knowledge, serendipity, and ultimately creativity. Finally, they must respond with an ambitious design to environmental concerns and aspirations for biophilia, which are increasingly important among employees.