Denfert Building – 2020-ongoing

Winning proposal in the City of Paris competition for the Denfert Building located at the site of the former Saint-Vincent-de-Paul hospital in the 14th arrondissement. The new 7400sqm building will mark the entrance to the new Saint-Vincent-de-Paul district, between Port-Royal and Denfert-Rochereau. It is part of a cultural center that aims for artistic excellence, accessibility to all audiences with an international reach. The programme combines exhibitions, restaurants and artistic events with artist residences, as well as commercial and social housing.

Anchored in local building patterns, the Denfert building steps back from the street with respect for the adjacent historical building architecture. Like ancient Ziggurats, the new building stands out solid and with monochrome materiality. Located in the heart of the city, it is placed in a prominent position within its neighbourhood and will create a new interface for the Parisian cultural scene. A preserved historic wall forms the base of the building and organizes the rhythm of the facades as well as the coherence of the entire site. French window openings with shutters are arranged in a regular way to accentuate the relief and depth of the facade.

The ground floor is open to the public: the main exhibition space with access to the upper level restaurant and an underground communication hub. The volumetric setbacks create horizontal exterior spaces for each floor as the building programme gradually transforms upwards with private homes on the top floors. The integrated and varied programs cohabit within the flexible structure, simultaneously or separately, to ensure 24/7 occupation.