Heritage renovation

  • Building Type : Office building < 28m
  • Construction Year : 1971
  • Delivery year : 2021
  • Address 1 - street : 10 rue Blanqui 93400 SAINT OUEN, France
  • Climate zone : [Cfb] Marine Mild Winter, warm summer, no dry season.

  • Net Floor Area : 600 m2
  • Construction/refurbishment cost : 270 000 €
  • Cost/m2 : 450 €/m2
  • Primary energy need :
    (Calculation method : Other )
Energy consumption
Economical buildingBuilding
< 50A
51 à 90B
91 à 150C
151 à 230D
231 à 330E
331 à 450F
> 450G
Energy-intensive building

Papillon is an interior design and circular economy project that gives birth to the facade of a monument, the Chenille of the Center Georges Pompidou. The project made it possible to reuse 178 curved glasses and 35 tonnes of discarded steel.

As part of its renovation, the domed windows of the Beaubourg chenille have been removed. At the same time, the order from the new buyer, the Altavia group, was to set up a central and meeting space at its head office in Saint Ouen, allowing its 500 employees to meet and rest. We've aligned the calendars to breathe new life into these iconic windows.

Sustainable development approach of the project owner

Altavia is a group of 35 companies around the world specializing in communication. Altavia, whose head office, an industrial building in Saint-Ouen, is currently being renovated, wanted to place the circular economy at the heart of its interior design project.

The site is unique since it has two vertical buildings connected by a central hall of 2,300 m2. This central hall must be arranged in such a way as to "generate meetings". The client was keen on a local development, to represent the rising values of the company.

Architectural description


A "ribbon of glass", obtained by superimposing the elements, undulates in the space of the hall to design it like a garden: a space of strolling and meeting offering all the levels of intimacy. The construction principle makes it possible to generate open spaces limited to curved partitions, but also small independent, circular or ovoid islands that can house closed meetings.

PRS structure

The new structure is made from reconstituted welded sections (PRS). These are steel sheets cut and assembled to obtain made-to-measure steel profiles. These sheets were scrapped for their slight manufacturing defect: scratches, sagging etc. Rather than feeding the metal retransformation lines, we cut them to measure to perfectly match the curvature of the glasses. The bolted assembly system allows easy assembly, anticipates disassembly and alleviates transport constraints.

Decommissioned steel

The steel which constitutes the structure of the project is supplied by one of our suppliers from the Déchethèque (our library of industrial waste). Specializing in downgraded steel, it offers "off-circuit" references that are nevertheless reliable and usable. This resource allows us to position the project a little further in its environmental commitment and to demonstrate in concrete terms the new practices and opportunities offered by reuse in construction.

See more details about this project


Photo credit




    Charlotte Auxenfans

Construction Manager






    Former owner of glasses

    Environmental consultancy


    BE facilitator

    Structures calculist

    Lucien Giraud

Contracting method

Lump-sum turnkey

Energy consumption



    • No heating system
    • No domestic hot water system
    • No cooling system
    • Double flow
    • No renewable energy systems

Urban environment

500 employees work on the site every day. The place is also open to the public during events and / or exhibitions. The site has a strategic position, easy to access and close to intramural Paris.

Reuse : same function or different function

    • Indoor joineries
    • Partitions

    Reuse of 178 curved glasses from the Center Georges Pompidou chenille.

    Structure in reconstituted profile welded from declassified steel.

    100%! (excluding painting and hardware)

    178 glasses in total of two sizes: 154 x 157 cm, and 154 x 233 cm or 358 ml

    100% of metal profiles, or 35 tonnes of steel!

    The caterpillar and the butterfly

    Our proposal is based on the singularity of the glasses that make up the caterpillar (curves) by circumventing the difficulties generated by this same parameter. Tilting the glasses allows you to free yourself from the type of tunnel specific to Beaubourg, and to deploy them freely. The new, more flexible assembly is no longer intended to “protect” but to create spaces that communicate with each other.

    A second life possible

    Sheltered from any form of bad weather (wind, snow, precipitation), the glazing will be reused in a framework particularly suited to its age. The space, entirely air-conditioned, makes it possible to ignore the problems of sealing and insulation which often make it difficult to reuse. This technical simplification creates the optimal conditions for a realistic reuse of these iconic glasses.

Sustainable design

  • 100 %
  • 100%

    Kits to assemble

    Unlike a conventional PRS, we are developing a bolted construction allowing direct assembly on site. This ease of assembly allows the project to remain as a kit until assembly, which reduces transport constraints.

Environmental assessment

    On this project, the reuse of materials made it possible to avoid:

    • The emission of 71.1 tonnes of CO2
    • The use of 16,008 m3 of water
    • The production of 77 tonnes of waste

Reproductibility and Innovation


    At the architectural level, reuse is too often compromised by discordant elements of context. The reuse of curved glass from the Center Pompidou fits into an ideal context, in particular thanks to the preparatory work carried out by the teams of Elioth, 169 Architecture and the Pavillon de l'Arsenal. We are extending these efforts with this flexible and concrete reuse project, bypassing as many technical and logistical difficulties as possible.

    Alignment of calendars

    First difficulty which could have significant consequences in terms of logistics: deadlines. By chance, our work window coincides perfectly with that of the dismantling (dismantling of the track - Delivery of the Papillon project). We transformed the material as we went along to avoid storage constraints for glasses and structures.

Economic assessment

  • 100 %

Reasons for participating in the competition(s)

Papillon is an interior design and circular economy project that gives birth to the facade of a monument, the Chenille of the Center Georges Pompidou. It allowed the reuse of 178 curved glasses and 35 tonnes of scrap metal.

Building candidate in the category

Bâtiments Tertiaires / prix de la rénovation

Bâtiments Tertiaires / prix de la rénovation

Trophées Bâtiments Circulaires

 circular economy
 Center Georges Pompidou
 Trophées Bâtiments Circulaires

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    Trophées Bâtiments Circulaires