massimiliano + doriana fuksas: french national archives in paris
massimiliano + doriana fuksas: french national archives in paris massimiliano + doriana fuksas: french national archives in paris
jan 23, 2013
massimiliano + doriana fuksas: french national archives in paris


italian architects massimiliano + doriana fuksas have just shared with us images of the new ‘french national archives’ located in pierrefitte sur-seine just south of paris — updating the construct originally built during the french revolution to record and store some of the most valued documents throughout french history. based on the idea of discovery, research, and participation – three pillars that are so closely married with the rich history stored within the premises – the structure is conceived as two contrasting volumes, one light and airy suspended mass extending horizontally towards the city, anchored by its counterpart reaching vertically into the sky.

horizontal glass structures ‘float’ above a reflecting pool
image © studio fuksas (main image © yves bellier)



cantilevered ‘satellites’ off of the floating element contain the offices, conference room and exhibition space oriented towards the cityscape as they hover over a reflecting pool, wrapped in a transparent glass skin. the imposing monolithic component contains the actual archive stock rooms over 10 levels that house the reading rooms, clad in aluminum panels to emphasize its strong established presence. walkways connect the two parts in several points, symbolic bridges rooted in the past but leading to the future. the site and context also play an important role, as they introduce the visitor to the structure and include several artworks and sculptures by artists such as antony gormley, susanna fritscher, florence mercier, and pascal convert.

space between the archive structure and the offices, connected by walkways
image © yves bellier

sculptural installations by antony gormley
image © yves bellier

view from the offices
image © studio fuksas

image © studio fuksas

conference room/ auditorium
image © poltrona frau

image © poltrona frau



project info:


site: pierrefitte sur seine-saint denis, paris, france
period: 2005 – 2013
client: french ministry of culture and communication represented by daf – direction des archives de france
delegate client: oppic – opérateur du patrimoine et des projets immobiliers de la culture
architects: massimiliano and doriana fuksas
interior design: fuksas design
area: 108,136 square metres
general contractor: bouygues construction
engineering: betom ingégnierie
acoustics: altia
landscape design: florence mercier
control department: socotec
artistic interventions: antony gormley, pascal convert, susanna fritscher
archives: height 40 metres, length 163 metres, width 48 metres; 220 stock rooms on 10 levels; reading room 160 seats;
materials of the facades: opaque glass and aluminium
satellite volumes: 6 communicating satellite volumes; materials of the facades: glass, light colour lacquered aluminium
conference room: 300 seats, seat “carla” for poltrona frau design by doriana and massimiliano fuksas
parking: 5,000 square metres; 161 underground places, 46 above ground




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architecture in france (125 articles)