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In pictures: Rehabilitation of SHIFT Building in Paris by Arte Charpentier Architectes

Ideally located in a thriving neighbourhood that is attracting many companies and administrations, SHIFT is conceived as an accelerator of transformation towards more collaborative ways of working and concerned about employee fulfillment.

Arte Charpentier Architectes was a rather special undertaking. The original office building, straddling the boundary between the 15th arrondissement of Paris and the district of Issy-les-Moulineaux, was designed and built by the same practice at the beginning of the 1990s for Unibail.

This heavy rehabilitation allowed the implementation of two major interventions who have brought the building out of self-imposed isolation and allowed it to reconnect with the city, setting up a renewed dialogue with the immediate surroundings :

  • the removal of the concrete façade panels and their replacement by a glazed envelope articulated by vertical projecting composite fins.
  • the creation of an internal atrium crossing the building from east to west, connecting the two streets and becomes a link between Paris and Issy-les-Moulineaux.

A major architectural innovation, the vertical fault located in the centre of the building is overhung by a large glass roof. It houses a complex set of mezzanine balconies, connected by a monumental staircase, whose construction process was like a suspended mobile, from top to bottom.

Within the modern and lively atmosphere generated by this interplay of raw and refined materials and a warm palette, Shift’s generous spaces exude a warm, welcoming ambiance.  Continuing the rhythmic theme of the façades set up by the vertical fins, the entrance lobby is finished in vertical battens in Beech.

The restaurant, offering 5 different catering themes each day for 1800 settings, create a buzz similar to a marketplace with a bar situated close to one of the entrances, and kiosks for each of the dining themes lining the central area. It benefits from a vast green terrace (60 places).

At the heart of the project is the central unifying space around which the daily working experience revolves offering comfort and conviviality, inspiration and creative thought, social interaction, and exchange. The offices (5,800m² on average/clear height from 2.65 m to 2.90 m) with varying depths, breaks with the usual monotony of standard layouts, and increases the possibilities for adaptation. The largely glazed façades allow natural light to be used as the main source of lighting.

Designed like a garden, SHIFT integrates plants into its interior with its 1,800 m² of private terraces, loggias, and balconies. The former technical roof has been transformed into a landscaped and green terrace on 2 600 m² offering real living spaces: an alternative outdoor workspace, a restaurant for lunch in the greenery, and 1,000 m² of urban agriculture operated by Sous les fraises, which partly feeds the RIE with the virtuous and educational aim of raising awareness of the notions of ecology and proximity.

This ambitious scheme, led by Arte Charpentier, under the impetus of Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, attracted Nestlé France, who chose to set up their first Centre of Nutritional Expertise in France. The 2 500 employees of the various brand names belonging to the group, such as Nespresso, Nestlé Waters, Herta, Galderma, etc are brought together within SHIFT’s 46 000 m².

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