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PCA-STREAM : Laborde

A building, two facets. The first is that of a building with classic elegance, purely Parisian while the second refers to contemporary tertiary architecture, while transparency. A duality assumed by the PCA-STREAM teams who realize the new headquarters of the law firm Gide behind the walls of the old Caserne de la Pépinière, in the 8e district of Paris. When past and future converge.

The genesis of this project 18 879 square meters starts well before the order of Gide, the first French international law firm. Built in 1763 on the Place Saint-Augustin, the Barracks of the Nursery - or "Barracks of Poland" -, was then intended to accommodate the French Guards who ensured the protection of the King. Enlarged in 1861 under Napoleon III in order to increase the capacity of reception, the building will remain intact until 1925, date at which its monumental entry is demolished with the aim of building the National Circle of the Armies. In 1948, the whole is completed by a built as high as narrow installed in bottom of court to provide for the needs of the Army in terms of residences and offices.
A story that could have stopped there. Except that. Following the decision of the Ministry of Defense to resell the building, the Paris agency PCA-STREAM, known for its many rehabilitations in the heart of the capital is chosen to ensure reconstruction. Thus begins the writing of a new chapter which promises to inscribe the iconic work in posterity.

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Assuming that the heritage is constantly changing and that the new does not necessarily replace the former in a brutal and uncompromising way, the architects try to "repair" what is the soul of the project, even if this is not part of a contemporary approach. Although the wing of yesteryear has been amputated from its largest pavilion, it has been restored, acting as an elegant and reassuring historical sequence. Now dedicated to welcoming customers, it deceives the certainty of visitors by concealing the new building made according to a different inspiration.

In the center of the courtyard, the "NoPa" is a new pavilion that marks the connection between past and modernity. This monumental addition, imagined as a meeting place and sharing, allows a break between entry into the complex and individual workstations. Characterized by a spectacular double height lobby, this space ensures the transition between the built on street and the courtyard building. By taking up the long silhouette of the tower demolished in 1925, the architects ensure a coherence between the conservation of the original work and the addition of the premises of Gide.
The 1 603 office set of square meters largely glazed and raised to 12 meters deep thus acts as a mirror reflecting the courtyard and the period work. These openings are supported by iron canopies T typical craft courts of Paris. If the volumetry of the project is vertical, the spatial organization sends waltz the conventions of the tertiary sets and maintains a horizontal relationship between the different services. A goal achieved through open floors, flowing traffic, glass desks and the presence of many common areas - coffee, library, terraces etc. -: everything is thought so that 600 users can interact with each other.

A will that extends into 4 500 square meters of outdoor spaces - of which 2 755 represent only the green surface. Thus, lawyers and customers can find themselves in the central garden, on the terraces planted, but also in the rooftop bar with its own vegetable garden for consumption on site. Each floor also has terraces. All these spaces also provide comfort, biodiversity, thermal insulation and environmental excellence.

A project that proves that contemporaneity and heritage can make the pair.

To learn more, visit the PCA-STREAM website

Photographs: Salem Mostefaoui

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