Visit the future of “50 Montaigne”, the most elegant offices in Paris

News March 23rd 2021 in Europe

Translated from French, see original article by Eric Treguier for Challenges >

When it comes out next year, “50, Montaigne” will be the most elegant building in a district – the eighth arrondissement of Paris – which has no shortage of iconic buildings. A guided tour of the construction site with its architect…

Vast (12,500 sqm), historic with its façade dating from 1890, eco-friendly with its green façades and roof, “50 Montaigne” will offer unparalleled comfort in the neighbourhood, to a thousand privileged employees. Indeed, you will have to be privileged and work for a company with deep pockets to settle there, because the rent will not be ordinary either: 930 € per sqm. This will make it one of the most expensive office buildings in the capital, in a district – the eighth arrondissement of Paris – where there is no shortage of competitors in restructuring: 54, Montaigne (also owned by The Olayan Group); 22, Bayard (former headquarters of RTL) and 26 bis rue François-1er (former headquarters of Europe 1). “We hope to rent it to a luxury group or to a consulting or law firm”, explains Nicolas Marin, Senior Asset Manager, Chelsfield France and responsible for the management of this building which belongs, like several others in the neighbourhood, to The Olayan Group.

Guided tour by the architect

To fully understand what is special about this building, nothing beats a guided tour by Julien Rousseau (Fresh Architectures). The architect, who has worked with Renzo Piano in London among others, always starts by taking his visitors to the very top of this 9-story building. The space has been completely cleared and, on the day of ‘Challenges’ visit, Bouygues workers were putting the finishing touches to a cantilever. It will protrude overhanging, about thirty meters above the ground.

From here, at the top of this building overlooking all its neighbours, visitors can discover, by turning on their heels, a breathtaking panoramic view: the Montparnasse and Eiffel Towers, those of La Défense, the Opera and the Sacré Coeur… “We have completely redeveloped the roof, removed the cooling columns since we switched to city heating. This allowed us to free up 1,000 sqm of green rooftop. We also created loggias, one per floor, because people want to have fresh air. In the same way, the rear façade, which faces a private street, was truncated to create terraces“, explains the architect.

Particular attention to employee well-being

The façade, in a light-coloured stone, is designed to limit thermal exchanges and the windows block the heat from outside. Everything has been done to reduce energy consumption and the building has been awarded several professional labels: Excellent in BREEAM, Exceptional in HQE (High Environmental Quality), Gold in WiredScore. “For example, we found solutions for reusing many of the materials and equipment removed and managed to keep 600 sqm of concrete floor that were to be demolished, which represents a saving of about 60 tons of CO₂. The site was awarded the Bouygues TopSite label for exemplary CSR projects.” says Alex Astolfi, Group Manager at Bouygues Construction, responsible for the smooth running of the site.

Efficient, modular, it is also the only office building in the district to offer companies floorplates of 1,500 sqm. All of this in total respect of the sanitary protocol and taking care of the well-being of the users. “We wanted a level of services well above the average, with a real amphitheatre and a highly developed wellness area with 2,000 sqm of services, fitness and 24-hour catering, says Guillaume Canciani, Development Director, Chelsfield France. We also took advantage of the fact that the building faces two streets to create three access points into the building including one reserved for bicycles. Users who come by bike will be able to pass through the 500 sqm interior garden to access a garage and a bike club where their bikes will be able to receive maintenance.”

Very “hotel” codes

When it comes to the lobby, it is the work of architect Ramy Fischler at RF Studio, former resident of the Villa Medici and designer of the year 2018 Maison et Objet, who is also in charge of all the decorated interior spaces. A spectacular lobby, which breaks the usual codes of corporate hospitality: “We could talk about a hotel lobby, with a reception desk, but also a space where it will be possible to have a drink and even, in the evening, to organize events such as conferences”, explains Nicolas Marin. All that remains now is to find a tenant ­– or two if the building is subdivided – capable of bringing in more than €13 million per year. Of course, this is not something you can find in the streets. But at a time when all companies are reorganizing and looking for new premises, such a building could give employees the desire to return to work…