Franklin Azzi : Deskopolitan Voltaire

After a first space in Paris, the French coworking firm Deskopolitan opens a new center, boulevard Voltaire, in the 11th arrondissement. Housed in a historic building in the neighborhood, this urban campus houses work and living spaces under the same roof. The Franklin Azzi agency, in charge of the renovation and extension of the existing building, is carrying out a daring renovation here. Zoom on a major project.

Four years after the acquisition of a property belonging to the RATP, Deskopolitan inaugurated in June 2019 its second coworking space in Paris. A true place of life and work, this contemporary complex of 6 square meters revolutionizes coworking and offers city dwellers in eastern Paris various services. Deskopolitan Voltaire brings together, within the same pole, 000 workstations, a hotel, a restaurant, sports studios, creation workshops, a recording studio, a collective vegetable garden, an associative crèche, a barber and a speakeasy.

Behind the Haussmannian facade of 226 boulevard Voltaire once hid the premises of Maison Cusenier, a French distillery founded in 1868. A backyard which then housed the headquarters of the Mutuelle B2V, then a rapidly abandoned RATP hub. In 2015, Deskopolitan bought the property complex and entrusted the renovation and extension project of existing constructions to Franklin Azzi. Anxious to preserve the soul of the site, the architect preserves the fabric of the historic building while transforming it into a contemporary complex.


As part of this large-scale project, Franklin Azzi favors an ecological approach in order to achieve sustainable rehabilitation with a low environmental and energy impact. The structures, openings and openings of the original buildings are preserved, while the car parks are transformed into offices. Added to this is a contemporary extension - a glass module placed on the roof of the main building - and a new building, which houses the hotel. These two entities interact with the history and architecture of existing buildings, thus creating a harmonious urban whole.

Inside, sobriety and minimalism are required to create a working environment. The teams of Morey Smith, a British design and architecture studio, imagine flexible and open spaces conducive to meetings and collaboration. More than a workspace, Deskopolitan Voltaire is a real place to live.

A successful rehabilitation which guarantees the preservation of the soul of the historic site and its transformation into a contemporary structure adapted to new ways of working and living.

To learn more, visit Franklin Azzi Architecture website

Photographs: We Are Content (s)

Léa Pagnier

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