THERE IS AN art to getting a modern building to blend into a district from the mid-20th century. Italian architect Renzo Piano succeeded by creating a gigantic grey armadillo that binds together existing buildings on Avenue des Gobelins in central Paris. In the day, the round exterior goes almost unnoticed, but in the evening it lights up the whole district like a glowing orb.
Moving into the modern building is the film foundation Fondation Jérôme Seydoux-Pathé, which will have offices, exhibition space, archives and a cinema here. The armadillo-shaped building, constructed around a frame of larch glulam arches, peeks inquisitively above the French capital’s jagged roofline. The domed roof, made of glass and glulam arches, brings natural light to every part of the 2,200 square metre building. The intention was to draw on the warm feel that larch provides, according to Thorsten Sahlmann, one of the architects.«