Manuelle Gautrand Architecture - Les nouvelles Galeries Annecy, expressing the new values of tomorrow’s commerce
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Les nouvelles Galeries Annecy, expressing the new values of tomorrow’s commerce

Manuelle Gautrand Architecture

Retail  /  Completed
Manuelle Gautrand Architecture

We started working with Citynove on the major restructuring and extension of the Galeries Lafayette department storeto create an alluring destination in its own right; “expressing the new values of tomorrow’s commerce”, in the words of Citynove.
In all aspects, the project targets local, emotive and aesthetic, with strong emphasis on services, while integrating environmental, cultural and social factors.
The opportunity for a large extension was unique, allowing the preservation of its now historic qualities while also giving it new youth, an innovative architecture, just as outspoken but certainly more contextual. Most importantly, the project needed to be transformed into a ‘city-centre’ project

Designed in the 1970s, the building was erected on the site with no awareness of its surroundings, heedless to context, form, alignment or density. And this is perhaps its force: it boldly made its mark on the site, as it has also made its mark on collective memory, so much so that it now features in the list of remarkable buildings of the 20th century. The relationship with the surrounding urban space was also uncertain; the circular forms of the car parks, positioned at the centre of the site, were set back from the streets and avoided any relationship with the buildings that faced them. This round, voluminous, multi-storey car park was undoubtedly the fi rst element one saw on approach, out of proportion and seeking no dialogue with the surrounding urban environment.

The project was truly sustainable from the outset in our desire to preserve all of the existing building. Other than a few square metres of partitions, there have been virtually no demolitions. As a consequence, the project was able to benefi t from the renovation and extension to achieve BREEAM Excellent certifi cation. Porous surfaces on the site have been considerably extended, rainwater is now gathered and reused for watering the green roofs, we have planted numerous external areas, and extensive work on natural
light was conducted in all the internal spaces in order to minimise use
of artifi cial light. Every possible opportunity was taken to ensure the building’s robust
and uncommon environmental credentials

Faced with these very pronounced circular forms, we did not want to dismiss them, but rather to embrace them by working on extended volumes that were also circular. The fi nal perception is not at all one of an existing 1970s building with an unrelated extension, but rather one of a unified architecture, completely redesigned and contemporary.
The existing car park, in the form of a two-storey ring resting on piles, has been preserved; its curve unifies the entire project, and it was a natural decision to make use of the space beneath it to install the Nouvelles Galeries entrance mall, as well as most of the public spaces and facilities. From this unifying space, several circular volumes slip in above or
beneath the existing volumes of the circular car parks; they are like delicate, crystalline satellites that have reproduced in contact with the rings.



 27500 mq
  45,000,000.00 €


We aspire to serve people and cities with an innovative and sensitive architecture: Far away from standards and international architecture, we are always aiming to find the DNA of a city and its site, defining a sense of place with a very contextual approach, and with projects that bring beauty and poetry to their place. We are fully involved to solve issues connected to climate change and pollution. We know that “good design brings value”: the more we find the good answer, the more the project is valuable. We also know that good architecture tells a story and brings you in a journey: we aim with passion to generate desire in the mind of our client and trigger a process of imagination. We have metaphors that can become fabulous design tools: we are storryltellers, and it is a poetic part of our job.

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