Through Thomas Martin
An intriguing communication campaign. In a video, Groupama decided to cover a art deco building located Place de la Bourse in Paris with an imaginary drapery on which it is written “Choose the dumbest building in Paris”. So why is this building overlooking the Brongniart Palace in the 2nd arrondissement of the capital?
“Do something different” in the heart of Paris
It is one of the emblematic buildings of the neighborhood, built in 1930, in freestone, in the Art Deco style. Renovated in 1994 by Jean-Jacques Ory, it has until today housed the headquarters of the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF), which is leaving it. Groupama wants to renovate the building, which once renovated would have an area of approximately 5,000 m2, on 8 levels (including a roof) and 5 levels of basements and parking.
Calling it “the most useless building in Paris”, Groupama Immobilier winks at its goal of “Zero carbon, zero air conditioning, zero waste, zero superfluities”.
“Wisdom” – or laziness, it depends – would have required us to carry out a classic renovation, with talented architects capable of sublimating the building and its superb art deco facade, making it generic enough to accommodate any tenant, explains Eric Donnet, Chief Executive Officer of Groupama Immobilier Hon LinkedIn. A winning move, inevitably, in the heart of the prime district of Paris, with the prospect of record rents. But we thought we were doing something else. Something really different.”
“I’m looking for a madman”, he says, admitting “by doing things the other way around: before choosing an architect, we will find the future tenant of the site”. He promises “a great reward for the future lessee: the prospect of creating a tailor-made flagship, responding to his ambitions, his desires or his follies”.
A building in Paris that was not chosen by chance
The profile of the madman? Someone “who would like a building without air conditioning and without heating in the heart of Paris, who would agree to get involved right from the design stage, but who, above all, would be able to propose a radically new project and a wildly exciting concept itself. The 12 floors of this building (5 of which are underground), are an opportunity to imagine a different place in the heart of Paris, which would offer completely new and unique leisure, party, shopping, business or accommodation experiences”.
In Figaro Real Estate, explains Eric Donnet: “We did not choose this building at random. This building already has strong intrinsic qualities with walls exceeding 60cm thick. It is made of cut stone which allows for better insulation»
“We are now entering a new phase – after the joint declaration, the time has come for collective action: I hope that 4-6, place de la Bourse will materialize, on hard, the desire to experiment with new practices, and that it brings together all those – industrialists, start-ups, operators, planners, property owners, promoters – who will have the wisdom to follow us in this madness! concludes Eric Donnet.
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