Fondation Pathé di Renzo Piano
It’ll be inaugurated at the beginning of September the new headquarters of the Fondation Jérôme Seydox-Pathé. The project was signed by Renzo Piano studio together with Bernard Plattner and Thorsten Sahlmann, respectively partner and associate of the RPBW.
« Insert an architecture in an historical block forces in a close and physical dialogue with the existing. Building on existing buildings can be an opportunity to re-spread, to recapture the space » says the study. « The new headquarters of the Fondation Jérôme Seydox–Pathé is an unexpected presence, a curved volume that is barely visible floating in the middle of the court where it is placed, anchored in only a few points. The new building gives way, on the ground for a birch trees’ garden, a vegetable island in the dense contest of the city. The Fondation Jérôme Seydox–Pathé is a private institution that has, among its functions, the preservation of the archives of the house Pathé production and, in general, the promotion and dissemination of film and its history. The new location is at the center of a block of the XIII arrondissement, where before there was an old theater building transformed into a cinema (one of the first in Paris).
The new architecture, which will be completed in the coming months, will host Pathé archives, some exhibition space (temporary and permanent collection), a screening room with 70 seats, and the offices of the foundation. In place of the two bodies of the old theater was made an organic « creature » reacting positively to the conditions of the environment.
The idea is to respond to the functional and representative program requested by the Foundation and, at the same time, increasing the quality of the space surrounding the new architecture. For its historical and artistic value, has been preserved and restored the existing facade on Avenue des Gobelins: the presence of two sculptures by Auguste Rodin youth make it an icon of the consolidated district.
Immediately beyond this façade, a first construction, transparent and similar to a greenhouse, it works as an input to the Foundation. From this space, the look can go inside the court, meeting the main body and then through the glazed ground floor up to the garden of birch trees at the bottom of the block.
As mentioned, the characters of this new architecture are strongly associated with the site constraints and requirements that the project had to meet. The rispect of the distance from the neighboring buildings improves the overall condition of lighting and ventilation; the reduction of the area occupied on the ground floor has allowed us to realize the internal garden. The top of the main building is glazed, and this means that the offices of the Foundation, which will occupy the last two levels, fully enjoy the natural light. During the day the new architecture, which is perceived partially from the street through and above the restored façade, is a discreet presence in the life of the neighborhood. The night will be a bright light appeared. «