Sequoia Building

2015 | Saint-Denis, France

  • Sequoia Building Façade and New entrance © Sébastien Siraudeau
  • Sequoia Building Façade before renovation © Sébastien Siraudeau
  • Sequoia Building Close-up on the new entrance © Sébastien Siraudeau
  • Sequoia Building Atrium: detail of a sequoia growth rings © Sébastien Siraudeau
  • Sequoia Building Dramatic staircase, reception desk and atrium © Sébastien Siraudeau
  • Sequoia Building Dramatic staircase © Sébastien Siraudeau
  • Sequoia Building Staircase, reception desk, atrium and signage © Sébastien Siraudeau
  • Sequoia Building Marketing suite © Sébastien Siraudeau

The approach to this building dating from the 1990s already kindles the warm and welcoming feeling its owner wished to give it. A lively place in the heart of the third largest service sector business zone in the Ile de France, the Plaine Saint-Denis, located just a few minutes from the center of Paris thanks to the proximity of strategic highway and rail service, this building nevertheless failed to evoke the image of its namesake.

STUDIOS was tasked with renovating the building while also enhancing its visual presence. The challenge: find a way to make the building stand out without altering its façade. Thus, the plaza in front was repaved with slabs of Hainaut blue stone, which anchors the building in a larger context of stone, and built out to include green spaces with shade trees and English-style gardens. A new portico replaced the former awning, playing with a deconstruction of the original geometry of the building and its approaches.

Once inside, the visitor’s gaze is drawn downward to the floor whose motif is inspired by a sequoia tree stump. “Growth rings” were fabricated and individually machined and modeled out of steel tubing, then inserted in the finely colored terrazzo marble floor. Interior cladding and new signage reflect the decorative approach to the formal public areas and are key elements in creating a welcoming feeling of unity. The lobby, the building’s core, was completely reworked to better serve meeting rooms, offices, the restaurant and a fully modular all-purpose space: auditorium, showroom, or co-working area.

Office floors, organized around two elevator lobbies, were optimized to allow access to the 250 m² of terraces. Easy partitioning of the building was a key aim of the renovation, to make it adaptable to either one or several tenants.