Proposal for the rehabilitation of the Georges Eastman Institute as part of Réinventer Paris 2 «Les dessous de Paris».
Event spaces, shared workshops, restaurant and café, learning center, auditorium.
Total area: 4000 sqm
Team: Novaxia (developers), Face (fondation agir contre l'exclusion), Operel (operator), Hame (heritage architect), Office for Cities (concertation), Bollinger+Grohmann (structure), Barbanel (fluids), Green affair (environment), VPEAS (quantity surveyor)
On the edge of the Parc de Choisy stands a unique historic building, forgotten for decades, that needs to be reinvented for future generations.
Our main aims were to restore the fundamental connection between the Georges Eastman Foundation and the Parc de Choisy, and to reconcile the building with its site and the city at large.
To approach the building with precision and humility, we had to explore the hidden recesses of the park, drawing from its history and taking inspiration from the site The very foundations of the building seemed to be sending us a message.
The building stands above old quarries that were transformed into gasometers and ultimately filled in when the park was laid out.
It thus connects the historic industrial underground world to the open-air world above, with its architecture and trees.
In order to reconnect the building with its surroundings and its history, we reconstructed its active base: from the basement emerges a new opportunity to open the building to the public, reconnecting the underground and above-ground levels and linking past and present.
On the street side, a broad open forecourt leads to the entrance.
The existing front steps have been widened, inviting visitors to walk up to half-storey level and enter the new ground floor, which has been turned into a panoramic gallery: a welcoming space that stretches out on both sides and lends itself to friendly interactions.
Huge windows of varying degrees of transparency enliven the space, those facing south providing an irresistible perspective of the park, the treetops and the skyscrapers beyond.
Outside, steps lead gently down from the terrace towards the lawns in the park.