24 July 2015
The new Pathè Fondation in Paris fits discreetly into the rigorous Haussmann city blocks. The expansion of the historic headquarters of the homonymous film production company was designed by the Renzo Piano Building Workshop. Established in 1896, the Jérôme Seydoux Pathè is today an institution that deals with the tutelage and promotion of the heritage of French films. The ancient structure owned by the Foundation is the former Theatre des Gobelins, elegant 19th century architecture, characterised by an impressive facade – completely restored with a conservative prospective during the expansion – decorated with original sculptures by Auguste Rodin. The added building, completely transparent, hosts the area of the Foundation open to the public and the administrative offices. This space, flooded with natural light, overlooks the inner garden. The “creation” of the Pathé Fondation seems to live a life of its own. Reclining languidly between nearby buildings, it is an unexpected presence that stands out without “choking” the pre-existing buildings, but at night it lights up and shines distinguishing itself from its surroundings.