The Renzo Piano Building Workshop is finally nearing completion of its Pathé Foundation structure, a curved and rotund building that will house the organization's new headquarters. Unlike Piano's sharply angled Shard skyscraper in London, the Pathé building is designed like an "organic shaped 'creature'" molded around the existing site restrictions. Clad in curved glass panels, Piano's peculiar building rises like a giant crystal bubble that discreetly overlooks the surrounding historic Parisian city block.
In celebration of Pathé’s film heritage, the Fondation Jérôme Seydoux-Pathé’s new headquarters is located at the same spot where one of Paris’ first cinemas in the mid-1900s once stood. Since Piano’s design is built onto an existing historical structure, the project presented an opportunity to restore the decorative facade on the avenue des Gobelins. From the street level, passersby can glimpse the globular greenhouse-like addition floating above the restored facade.
The upper section of the transparent addition contains the new offices, which are generously flooded with natural daylight. To make room for the new headquarters, two existing buildings were demolished; the glass building was constructed with a smaller footprint than its predecessors, which the designers says improves the neighboring properties’ access to daylight and air flow. In addition to office space, the building will promote the Pathé’s heritage and cinematography with exhibition spaces, a 70-seat screening room, and film archives.
Images via Renzo Piano Building Workshop, © Michel Denancé