Thursday 27 Sep 2012
STUDIOS Architecture converted the former headquarters of Alcatel-Lucent, into the modern worldwide headquarters for global pharmaceutical company Sanofi.
Sanofi's symbolic move into central Paris was to convey the group's new identity as a world diversified leader geared towards innovation and called for a more transparent work environment with ample natural light and improved interaction between its 750 employees, a place where staff and visitors could feel at home. This included moving from a completely closed office environment to workspaces that were 95 percent open.
Change management was crucial to make the site both a vertical and transversal communication vector and STUDIOS consulted a group of representative employees to understand their needs and the way they worked, and later mocking up the office furniture and taking 80 percent of the total workforce to visit the construction in progress to manage the angst of change.
The main seven-story building had been a dark labyrinthine layout wrapped around a covered atrium and a courtyard. STUDIOS set about a complete interior renovation, removing walls and creating open workspaces with glass-walled meeting rooms, and developed a way to connect the building visually at the centre by creating Community lounges on each floor to provide visual orientation and to improve communication, work habits and the way staff interact.
The building was also updated with state-of-the-art telecommunications systems, including a TV broadcast studio, "telepresence" rooms and a 150-seat auditorium.
The interior design emphasizes the rejuvenating aspects of nature. Designer Juan Trindade, in collaboration with STUDIOS, designed the entrance lobby, atrium, staff restaurant and auditorium. A living wall in the entry lobby creates a greenhouse feel and a park-like atrium doubles as a business lounge and company-wide meeting area, with formal hedges that separate different moveable seating areas. The atrium's columns are vertical gardens that also help improve the acoustics within the vast space.