Originally owned by the Ministry of Defence, the building at 6 rue Talleyrand was sold to an individual buyer in 2009. This three storey office building, dating back to the end of the fifties, was narrow and bland, and rather austere. Taking advantage of its prestigious location in the 7th district of Paris, to the east of the esplanade des Invalides, the new owner entrusted PCA-STREAM with the mission of transforming the structure into a town house. It was the opportunity for the agency to propose an example of the transformation of tertiary spaces into housing, a major issue for life in, and urban densification of, Paris. The building was reinstated into its context by through a form of contemporary writing, and endowed with an exceptional elevation that offers a panoramic view of the city.
As the original building could not be demolished, it was a question of taking advantage of the existing structure so as to successfully transform it into a town house. In opposition to the original organisation of the interior spaces, PCA-STREAM favoured open volumes, natural light and transparencies. The whole space has been reorganized in terms of depth and pierced by two empty areas, light filled “lungs” that, between them, structure the different spaces. The ground floor conserves an office space, the two first floors are organised into bedrooms that look out onto rue Talleyrand, while the last two floors accommodate the living spaces. The two storey open central area spreads light throughout the building and allows the creation of interplays of depth in the internal views. The second empty space, extending as far as the skylights of the raised area, allows the upper floors to function as a single reception space that is generously doused in natural light. The dining room and living room open out onto a covered terrace and a balcony. Glass guardrails favour transparency, while the clear wooden doorways provide touches of warmth. All of this, bathed in white, has been designed in the spirit of minimalism.
From the ordinary to the exceptional
This outstanding town house, that naturally has its place in such an upmarket neighbourhood, thus replaces the austere administrative building that had been designed and planned according to a typology of office buildings dating back to the sixties. PCA-STREAM has nonetheless conserved the original rhythm of the facade, a relatively classic grid, while at the same time modifying its geometry. The windows have been enlarged, their frames refined and placed flush with the facade to provide the building with a contemporary identity. It forms a quite sober geometrical volume that can be read as a pure and abstract object. The elevation, accompanied by the creation of three new coves, conserves a retreat to the south in such a way as to not reinforce the false gable on the rue Grenelle side. The structures, in the continuity of the facade, reinterpret the classic volumes of Paris rooftops and the style of skylights in artists' studios. The top floor is treated like a terraced roof that provides extraordinary panoramic views of Paris. From the street, the ensemble proposes a geometrisation of Paris' classic codes and ordinances, an abstraction that reifies and transcends this architectural transformation.
|Program||Conversion of an old office building into a mansion|
|Cost||1,5 M€ HT|
|Status||Completed in 2015|