Architecture – La Caserne by Paris and Berlin-based studio Chaix et Morel is a new creative centre for sustainable fashion in the 10th arrondissement of Paris. The 1877 building, a former fire station, features a central courtyard now filled with restaurants and public areas.
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“The newly developed creative hub is characterized by its openness to the inside and outside.” Chaix et Morel told Archipanic. “This adaptation of an existing building worthy of protection points the way to a lived openness of a city that encourages creativity and innovation and wants to share it with as many as possible.”
Today, La Caserne is Europe’s largest incubator dedicated to sustainable high-end fashion. Indeed, the historical complex is home to smart brands and independent designers and also hosts boutiques, offices and coworking spaces, a raw materials showroom, a prototype workshop and a photo studio.
In addition, it also houses a shop, a restaurant promoting local producers, a rooftop bar, a dance hall, and a huge interior courtyard to organize events in keeping with the theme of this place, designed as a flexible ecosystem.
The architects used the qualities of the existing building to allow the greatest possible flexibility in the use of the space and to ensure energy-saving operation.
Chaix et Morel topped the central building facing the courtyard with a wooden roof serving as sun protection for a terrace event area. The structure picks up on the historical form of the roof, now reinterpreted in a contemporary-functional way.
Inside, all rooms are flooded with natural light and equipped with light, functional furniture to be easily used for different activities.
The inner walls have been left as much as possible in their original state, in the spirit of ‘economic architecture’ to highlight the history of the place. Stone walls with existing brick elements were reinforced with concrete where necessary and remained unplastered.
All photos courtesy of Chaix et Morel.