Renzo Piano designs glass armadillo home for Pathé foundation
By Stu Robarts
June 20, 2014
The Renzo Piano Building Workshop has designed a striking new home for the Fondation Jérôme Seydoux-Pathé in Paris. The building is a striking, curved structure that sits snugly between two others. It retains the preserved façade of an older building, which is decorated with sculptures by Rodin.
Renzo Piano Building Workshop is perhaps best known for designing the Shard in London, which Gizmag recently visited following the opening of the Shangri-La Hotel at the Shard.
The Fondation Jerôme Seydoux-Pathé, meanwhile, describes itself as, "an organization dedicated to the preservation of Pathé’s heritage, and to the promotion of the cinematographic art." Its new HQ was designed with the aim of meeting the needs of the Foundation and also improving the quality of the surrounding spaces.
The building's location, in a historical city block, required that consideration was given to how it would fit in. It sits on the site of a former mid-19th century theater, which would later become one of the first cinemas in Paris. Two existing buildings on the site had to be demolished in order to accommodate the new structure and to work within the restrictions of the location, but the façade was retained and restored for its historic and artistic value.
The curved shape of the new structure improves the access to natural light and air of neighboring buildings and increases the amount of surrounding space, leaving enough room for a rear garden. The arching roof is formed of glass to allow light into the offices. Its peak is just visible from a distance, poking up from behind the façade and rising about the surrounding buildings.
Inside, as well as the Foundation's offices, the building houses Pathé’s archives, exhibitions spaces and a 70-seat screening room.
The Fondation Jerôme Seydoux-Pathé has a total area of 2,200 sq m (23,681 sq ft) and is 25 m (82 ft) tall, spread over five floors. It is due to be completed and opened in early September.
Source: Renzo Piano Building Workshop