Refurbished 19th century industrial building, housing a new contemporary art foundation with a novel system of mobile floors to cater for a range of cultural exhibitions.

Lafayette Anticipations is a new contemporary art foundation in the Marais cultural district of Paris. An industrial building, dating from 1891, has now been radically transformed into a multipurpose structure featuring 800m2 of exhibition and performance space, an artists’ atelier, and offices.

Working within the client’s budget, Eckersley O’Callaghan developed the necessary alterations to the existing five-storey structure along with the new ‘exhibition tower’, ensuring the project stayed true to the architect’s design intent.

The transformation of the existing U-shaped building included upgrading the basement levels into artists' workshops. A new public entrance has been created, linking 'Rue du Plâtre' with 'Rue Saint-Croix-de-la-Bretonnerie'.

A key element of the design concept, the insertion of the 18m-tall central steel-frame tower into the 21.5m x 20.7m courtyard, has reimagined the space into a five-story atrium with a glass roof. The combined steel and glass structure includes four mobile floors, offering 49 possible spatial and programmatic configurations to accommodate a range of artistic projects. A glass-clad stair and lift core structure has also been inserted, with ultra-thin Ductal stair flights and landings.

Throughout the project, Eckersley O’Callaghan’s role was to provide intelligent structural solutions to a brief that changed as the original architectural proposals had to adapt to new city codes. The success of the building is a result of our close creative collaboration with the architect.

Location
Paris

Client
Fondation d’Entreprise Galeries Lafayette

Architect
OMA