Location : Pierrefitte sur Seine
Address : Rue Toussaint Louverture
Object : Construction of the archive storage center
Date : 2005
Awards : 2ND PRICE
Surface : 30.000 m²
$ : 82 M € HT
Team : Stéphane Maupin
Mission : Concours /Complete


Rather than constructing a building of storage, we have preferred to design an optical instrument to observe our history. The archive building is a handy device that should allow, by its content and technical efficiency but also by its symbolic form, to obtain an image of our world, our country, our culture.

This essential function of the observation of the habits of our society is symbolized by the tower which is placed in the mutating landscape of the new city. A familiar silhouette of modern cities around the world, its tessiture evokes very special geological stratifications that include the archives. Nestled along the pillar, a long horizontal building, raised on delicate poles, gracefully appears to maintain contact with reality.

Public space, research and office space, huge open bays at each end express the attention to the world. A blind mast tormented by the stroke of a tube, it is the universal form betrayed by the inherited hydras of the psyche. These are dungeons and dragons, in the era of the ipod. The slenderness and the opacity maintain the paradox of mystery. The geometric diversity, the textures and the orientations translate the history of the archives: all these layers are associated with the production of testimonies of the fabrication of the archive by papyrus, parchment and later paper.

The surface of the building, consisting of a patchwork of plates of various metals can both control the light inside the building and suggest a puzzle, as the pixels of a decomposed image which should be put back together. Always concerned by pedagogy to remember the importance of memory, the floor of the underside of the building will be vitrified and will conserve the archaeology of the site.

On the side, a surface of oriental rugs, delivers the image of a society happy of its multiculturalism. Thus, neither a shed of documents nor a palace of administration, our building will be considered by its users as an effective and compassionate observatory of our society.