Entire Parisian Block Filled With A Giant Armadillo Building


The new Pathé Foundation building squeezes into an historic block in Paris with its "creature"-like design.

Daniela Walker
  • 5 june 2014

Like many historical cities, the old and the new often sit alongside each other in Paris. There are some triumphs like I.M. Pei’s installation outside the Louvre, the one-time controversial design that is now a landmark in itself. A new building by Renzo Piano Building Workshop, the firm founded by globally renowned architect Renzo Piano, hopes to strike a similarly triumphant chord with the Pathé Foundation building in the 13th arrondissement.

The Pathé building simultaneously blends in with the surrounding historical façade, whilst also signaling its modernity with the interior structure and shape. The building is shaped like a giant armadillo nestled between other more traditional properties in a typical Parisian block.

From the street, it is hardly noticeable – the original building’s façade has been restored, featuring original Rodin goblins and classic French architectural detail. But behind the restored front and masked by surrounding buildings, is the rising curve of the glass structure. The architects envisaged it as a creature, filling in the awkward space in an otherwise clustered neighborhood. Explains RPBW:

The peculiar design of this building is determined by the limits and requirements of the site. While keeping its distance from the surrounding buildings, the new building actually improves its neighbours’ access to daylight and air and by reducing the building’s footprint, the project creates space for a garden at the back of the site.

The building will house the Fondation Jérôme Seydoux-Pathé, the organization that supports the preservation of the heritage of Pathé, one of France’s most prominent film production companies. As such, it includes exhibition spaces, a 70-person screening room and storage facilities for the company’s archives. The foundation’s offices sit on the top floor, benefiting from sunlight that comes through the glass roof.

The site, which has been under construction since 2006, is only a few months from completion. When it is complete it will be ‘a discreet presence during the daytime, it will softly glow at night.’

Renzo Piano Building Workshop

[h/t] Designboom


Lyft Gives Free Rides To Those Who Have Had Too Much To Drink

Experiential Marketing Today

UNICEF’s ‘Time Machine’ Tells Stories With Data

An experiential installation at the UN General Assembly reminds us why every child matters

Design & Architecture Today

Watch The World’s Tallest Building Become An LED Display

Burj Khalifa gives a backstage look at how the transformation came to be


Get PSFK's Related Report: Innovation Debrief: Boston

See All
Travel Today

Boeing Wants To Make Your Flight Better With Cloud And Star Projections

The manufacturer is trying to patent a projection system that would allow them to project images onto a plane's interior surfaces

Latin America Today

Colombians Teach Dance To Fund Students’ Education

Chocó to Dance is a platform that shows you how to replicate popular Latin dances to help create scholarships for local students

Related Expert

Tikva Morowati

Experience Designer, Product Strategist

Work Today

Editorial Roundtable: What A People-First Workplace Must Prioritize First

Managed By Q, Soma, Workbar, Primary, AltSchool and thinkPARALLAX on why employee fulfillment is a journey and not a destination

Culture Today

Brand Engagement At The Gates Of The World’s Largest Open-Air Gallery

Tiger Beer and a neighborhood-minded nonprofit celebrate and promote New York's creative spirit by beautifying 100 security gates

Automotive Today

Bike-Share Program Helps Students Save Money And Get To Class On Time

Zipcar and Zagster are creating sponsored programs across 500 U.S. college campuses


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed Yesterday

Why Building Better Offices Is The Key To Employee Engagement

Interaction Designer and Audio-visual Technologist at ESI Design illustrates the value in creating environments filled with surprise and delight

PSFK Labs Today

Modern Workplace Culture: No More Fat Cats Or Kissing Ass

Samar Birwadker, CEO & Co-Founder of Good & Co, on designing shared organizational values to optimize employee happiness and success

Technology Today

How Technology Can Save The World By Saving Time

PSFK attends the Social Good Summit 2016 to see how new tech is changing the world for the better

Advertising Today

Lancôme’s Newest Campaign Stars A Domestic Abuse Survivor

Rosie Batty is the new face of the Love Your Age series, and is using the platform to bring awareness to a prevalent and deadly problem

Travel Today

Marriott’s Gravity Room Installation Gives Travelers A New Perspective

The luxury hotel chain's #MGravityRoom invites visitors to snap and share pictures of its inverted set up

Fitness / Sport Today

Shoe-Worn Device Helps Kids Perfect Their Soccer Kick

A new wearable helps youth players improve their placement skills and technique


Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders

Syndicated Yesterday

Banned Books Week Urges People To Seek Out Controversial Works

Joining the annual celebration of the right to read, US author Jessica Herthel called for 'more information, more voices' to protect diversity

Augmented & Virtual Reality Yesterday

Outdoor Camp Presented In 360° VR By X Games Gold Medalist

The video features campers riding BMX trails, zip lining through the woods, and performing big-air jumps

No search results found.