Axel Schoenert architectes - Maison Bayard: a "low-carbon" wooden structure in the middle of the Parisian "triangle d'or"
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Maison Bayard: a "low-carbon" wooden structure in the middle of the Parisian "triangle d'or"

Axel Schoenert architectes

Renovation  /  Completed
Axel Schoenert architectes

In 2017, the radio station RTL left Rue Bayard, and in 2022 the complex was converted into offices, articulating a series of courtyards, tiered levels, terraces and gardens. The restored stone facades and the new champagne-coloured shutters and woodwork underscore the luxury codes prevalent in the district and write a new page in its history This heterogeneous complex comprising three buildings from different periods has regained coherence with the demolition and reconstruction of 22 Rue Bayard. The volumetry of the building articulates a series of courtyards and terraces starting from a ground floor in Impasse d’Antin until it reaches the height of the Rue Bayard facade. A complex arrangement, but essential to bring natural light back into each of the floors while offering the users proper workspaces. Accessible hanging gardens are laid out on the roof terraces formed by each recessed volume. The parking spaces on the first basement level are transformed into functional levels. They capture the light through a system of double courtyards and a simple extension of the central courtyard. The facade on Rue Bayard has been given careful treatment. How to succeed Vasarely’s “wall”, a project that left its mark on the site’s identity for several decades? Like the facade of the private mansion located at n°2, that came from a builduing attributed to François i, whose name was associated with the district in 1823 –, the monumental work was dismantled to be reassembled elsewhere. Perforations in the new mobile shutters pay discreet homage to this inimitable construction; but rather than seeking to compete with it, Axel Schoenert preferred to change the programmatic register. The new facade takes its inspiration from the fashion boutiques in the Ginza district of Tokyo. It repeats their monumentality, produced by the extension of the curtain wall system beyond the ground floor and the first level up to the top floor before receding, thus evoking a colossal order of classical architecture. The shutters and the champagne colour of the anodised aluminum metalwork transpose the codes of luxury into the envelope of the building to erase the signs linking the building to tertiary architecture – the application of a grid reflecting the pattern of the layout of the offices, the treatment of the floors considered as simple surfaces rather than spaces with their own qualities and specific features. In contrast with these anonymous spaces, each floor of the new Bayard is unique, opening variously onto terraces, courtyards, the grounds, the street... Environmental concerns are not excluded from the offices. The BREEAM, HQE, WELL and BBCA labels and certifications reflect the stress that the investors lay on ecological issues. 22 Rue Bayard naturally has all these hallmarks, without which it is impossible to lease property of this standing today in France. However, the project does not content itself with displaying certificates, but embodies them in the architectural form. The most obvious is the treatment of the facade with high-performance glazing. Yet the occupants will remain in control of their workspaces: by operating the facade shutters, or the ventilation openings, they will retain the ability to control the levels of brightness and temperature within each office. Rehabilitation is a second axis of sustainability, considered today as fundamental in the fight against greenhouse gas emissions. Now almost essential to obtain a good carbon footprint, the rehabilitation or “recycling” of buildings was not so imperative a few years ago. It was justified above all on the heritage level, now obsolete after the successive transformations laid out by the radio station. Of the interiors of the post-Haussmann building, only a disfigured staircase remained, which the project managed to reclaim. The stone facades have been restored, partly doubled by the curtain wall of the courtyard, encompassing the old and the new in a single space, like a collage. On the Impasse d’Antin, an unusual built object prolongs the more familiar apartment building at 22 bis. This is a sort of warehouse redivided into floors, used for a long time by the Théâtre du Rond-Point des Champs-Élysées to store its sets before being transformed into a cafeteria/ radio archives. The work has literally brought to light its framework, a hidden technical and aesthetic structure now illuminated by a glass roof. Its wooden joinery and the height of the structure make this forgotten place an exceptional and unusual space in the tightly regulated world of tertiary real estate. For the new parts, Axel Schoenert also wished to use a wooden structure, when the regulations did not require it, though the City of Paris, it must be said, strongly encouraged it. Posts and floors in CLT (“Cross-Laminated Timber”) and solid panels in reconstituted wood remain visible in the workspaces, in a logic of bringing the user into contact with the elements of sustainable construction. The culmination of this approach lies in the gardens, which cascade down towards the Impasse d’Antin from the heights of Rue Bayard. Gardens planted with useful species bring reflection, meditation and concentration, so stimulating all the senses of the occupants of the complex. While investors and future lease-holders, as they are called in the tertiary sector, will first look at building certifications before committing to a lease, there is no doubt that users will appreciate the fact that this environmental commitment is not only a matter of construction products and performance, but results in hanging gardens accessible during working hours or the proximity of warm materials that bring back past eras. In their book Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things, Michael Braungart and William McDonough intend to replace energy efficiency with energy benefit, a condition that the 22 Bayard project seeks to achieve in all its aspects.


 Lasalle Investment Management and Nexity
 Axel Schoenert architectes
 Axel Schoenert architectes


Axel Schoenert founded the Franco-German agency Axel Schoenert architects with Zsofia Varnagy, interior designer, in 1999, in Paris. With a multicultural team, the agency develops its activities in France and worldwide, in the fields of architecture, interior architecture and design. Its priority is to promote an eclectic vision of its work, to focus on project diversity and to develop an expertise in newly built construction as well as complex refurbishment.
Axel Schoenert is recognized and rewarded for his expertise in hotels, office space with iconic performances and design, but also his coworking projects.
Resolutely detached from a specific style, effects and trends, each project is studied as a new page to write. The starting point of this work is the place itself, its history, its culture. This anchorage will define the heart of the project, where interior architecture and design are combined with architecture and coexist in perfect harmony.

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