Following a competition organised by the Paris Chamber of Commerce, the restructuring and extension of Advancia
business school, located on Armand Moisant street in Paris, was entrusted to AS.Architecture-Studio. This higher
education institution, specialising in entrepreneurship, should accommodate 1500 students in 2011. The building
features a property complex including classrooms, offices, 3 amphitheatres, a 260-seat auditorium, a resource
centre, a recording studio and food and beverage areas.
The building asserts its modern character, in line with its environment, and emphasizes the historical part built
in 1908. In contrast with the latter’s rough and static bricks, the extension is smooth, dynamic and kinetic. It is
characterised by the refined design of glass facades composed of mobile vertical shutters with couloured printed
glass. These shutters act as a protection against sunrays or, on the contrary, let them in. The facade colour range
makes the building sensitive to its environment. Its characteristics are constantly changing according to light inputs,
angles and the positions of sun-breakers. Whereas colour gradation makes the building contextual, it becomes the
«context» itself due to the reflection of surrounding elements onto the facade.
The main classrooms and offices are served by open walkways set around a large atrium. The atrium is the main
foyer and an open, user-friendly area. It is also a horizontal and vertical transfer area connecting the old and the
contemporary buildings. When bathed in light inside the atrium, one has the impression of being outside. When
protected from bad weather, one really appreciates being indoors.
The business school is designed as a real forum dedicated to students, teachers and entrepreneurs. Permanent
dialogue and common work between the client and the design team resulted in a project that fully complies with
financial targets and established deadlines.
IN THE CITY
Several consultation meetings with residents took place during the study phases. The project has also gained the
support of local politicians.
We sought for chromatic harmony with nearby environment: yellow colour of the 1908 building and red colour of
Bourdelle museum. The building plays and interacts with the brightness and colours of its surroundings.
The volume composition corresponds to Paris city planning regulations. The morphology of the plot includes twentythree
different sizes. In the prolongation of the 1908 building, the extension follows the Hausmann-type building line.
In front of a ledge of the museum, where Bourdelle street narrows, the extension turns towards the core of the plot,
generating a curve and a countercurve. The patio thus created expands urban space.
HERITAGE AND FUTURE
The project is both contemporary and historical - and these notions support each other.
AS.Architecture-Studio renovated the initial building in a precise and refined manner. The school asserts its modern
character while echoing and reinforcing the initial building.
The use of hollow joints enables everybody to make a clear distinction between the initial and the new building; both
thus become autonomous within this unitary project.
The rear facade of the historical building reveals itself inside the atrium. The opposite facade asserts the aesthetics
of the building: history and future - «together» and «simultaneously» - which is already a sign of contemporaneity.
THE OLD BUILDING
THE CONTEMPORARY BUILDING
The old building was renovated according to its original treatment (bricks, stylized windows, cornices and mosaics).
Original colours were resurfaced and restored. We recovered room clearance by pulling out the 1954 extension. The
old building was renovated in full compliance with its original design.
A contemporary, precise, joyful and coloured building stands out of the street building alignment. Its refined design
makes it even more dynamic. As a contrast with the static and rough bricks of the historical building, the extension
is smooth and kynetic.
Facades gain rhythm thanks to mobile vertical shutters made of coloured printed glass. They control light input
(either protecting from sunlight or letting it in). These revolving shutters are grouped together and electrically-driven.
The building thus comes alive, as shutters open, close and revolve. Shutters seem closed when seen from afar and
transparent when seen from nearby. The colour range also changes, as it adapts to the brightness and position of the
sun. According to sunray position throughout the year, the facade colours will vary from pastel to fluorescent. When
people stroll nearby, the landscape reflected by the shutters vibrates and becomes pixelated.
According to a mathematical formula, colours vary within a gradation going from red to yellow and from yellow to red.
Gradations accelerate and decelerate. Seven colours, four patterns, on both sides, and seven different heights result
in eight hundred seventy-three references and four thousand one hundred and two implemented items. Shutters are
the result of a long endeavour of graphic research, reinterpreting the sun-breaker theme.
This contemporary building, with a simple and unique design, turns in the schoolyard and wraps the historical building
on the northern side. The opening onto Antoine Bourdelle street enables us to treate the rear facade as precisely as
the front one.
The integration work on the facade was achieved through constant collaboration with a national heritage architect.
The atrium represents the heart of the building itself. Open walkways serve the main classrooms and offices, the
auditorium, the amphitheatres and the cafeteria.
The central foyer helps visitors find their way and makes the functioning of the building dynamic. It is a horizontal and
vertical transfer area for all:
- a horizontal area, at street level and through walkways located at various levels,
- a vertical area, through elevators and stairways that serve all the levels of both the old and new building.
A monumental staircase generates a counterpoint in this longitudinal area.
Zenithal light changes the characteristics of this area throughout the day. Diurnal cycles animate social life and
When inside the atrium, one can easily imagine the geometry of the entire building. The curved lines in the patio differ
from the front facade geometry. The auditorium is wrapped in a wooden shell and topped by a meeting platform, like
a piazza. The facades of the 1908 building separate the atrium from classrooms and offices. They are a metaphor of
the city inside the building. This majestic and welcoming atrium is planted with bamboos.
Dominated by the white colour, the atrium brings together the bricks of the old building, the colours of the glass
facade, wood and vegetal textures, as well as the movements of people who meet inside the building.
The atrium establishes a physical and visual link with the ground floor and the planted patio, where the information
directory and food and beverage areas are located.
ACCESS, CIRCULATIONS, POINTS OF VIEW AND TRANSPARENCIES
The layout of the building is simple and clear.
The original entry located on rue Armand Moisant was maintained and constitutes a unique access for the building.
Original mosaics that were found in the entrance hall were preserved and restored. The original decoration of the
director’s office was maintained and recovered.
The entrance opens directly onto the large atrium and enables everyone to seize the building’s wide areas, as well
as its layout. Facing the entrance, a large opening extends out onto the planted patio. From the middle of the atrium,
the monumental stairway serves all floors, from ground floor to terrace. The planted terrace offers magnificent views
onto Parisian monuments.
Classes are mainly held in the building located on rue Armand Moisant, whereas offices and small classrooms are
located near the patio area.
The atrium is physically and visually linked to the ground floor and the planted garden, next to which the information
directory and food and beverage areas are located.
A 94-space car park occupies two underground levels. A delivery area is located under the building, at ground floor
level, between Antoine Bourdelle and Armand Moisant streets. The sliding doors are treated like the couloured shutters
in the facades and make the whole building harmonious. Doors only open when deliveries are made and serve the
logistic areas without disturbing the functioning of the school and of the car park.
ENVIRONMENTAL APPROACH AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
Architecture-Studio believes the cleanest energy is the one which people do not consume.
The large atrium of Advancia business school is a buffer area that generates energy savings. Its roofing is made of
ETFE, a flexible and inflatable material where air is injected, thus providing excellent thermal and acoustic insulation.
Certain issues were treated as a priority throughout the entire design process:
- The saving of running resources
Passive systems, adapted thermal inertia, breathable windows, efficient solar protection, natural light management.
Rainwater recovery. Efficient technical tools, particularly for lighting (low-power light-bulbs), ventilation system (energy
saving double flow). The functioning is optimised through GTC_Centralised Technical Management.
- Comfort as a uniting factor
The atrium is the buffer area from acoustic and thermal points of view. Noise sources are insulated. Natural light
is favoured and comfort is adapted according to the type of use of each room. For instance, particular ventilation is
implemented in the atrium, in the information and documentation centre or in the kitchen. A freecooling system was
also implemented. Opening items and smoke extraction frames allow for the evacuation of hot air. Neon tubes (equipped
with motion and light detectors) in classrooms, offices and circulations. Low brightness temperature in computer
- Access for all
This is France’s first completed public building complying with the new accessibility regulations for disabled people.
ADVANCIA BUSINESS SCHOOL
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Paris (CCIP) is a public institution animated by 84 company managers from
all fields of activity. It intervenes in various fields of activity dealing with economic development and company life,
such as training actions for young people and lifelong training for professionals. In this way, ADVANCIA, a business
school dedicated to entrepreneurship was founded in 2004. It welcomes a public composed of students, future and
young managers, as well as company partners. Its strong core values are courage, lucidity and success. The school
carries out original teaching methods around action, openness onto the world, experiments and creativity. It gives a
central role to apprenticeship. By doing so, Advancia trains and accompanies company founders and buyers, but also
future managers, which are very sought for their entrepreneurial talents. They will occupy management positions in
companies, public political and economic institutions. Through lifelong training, ADVANCIA proposes its expertise in
terms of company setting-up and management. ADVANCIA is deeply established in entrepreneurial networks and has
a research centre and a company incubator. It holds a noticeable and original place in French educational landscape.
The business school has 4 missions:
- Accompany the setting-up of businesses and support young company development
- Develop new structures in SME and large companies (intrapreneurship)
- Bring together the entrepreneurial community of Ile-de-France region
- Make the entrepreneurial culture known
ADVANCIA is a member of the Grande Ecole conference, of EFMD and AACSB International.
« This is a large-scale project : an educational project (as it trains entrepreneurs), economic (it makes the Ile-de-
France company network denser), scientific (it promotes knowledge related to entrepreneurship), cultural (it develops
the young and adults’ entrepreneurial culture), social (as it gives most people the opportunity to reach their goals as
entrepreneurs, mainly through apprenticeship) », states Anne Stéfanini, director of ADVANCIA.
« We had to offer a specific spot to this large-scale project, as well as an appearance able to translate the original
positioning of this institution. It is thanks to the support and commitment of the Ile-de-France Region, that I am
genuinely thankful to see this project achieved».
FINANCING : Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Paris, Ile-de-France Region
DEKRA - security and health safety; fire safety
IOSIS MANAGEMENT - scheduling, piloting and coordination
QUALICONSULT - technical standards and safety authority
DESIGN TEAM :
AS.ARCHITECTURE STUDIO - Architect
ARCOBA - Engineering
ECO CITES - Quantity surveyor
AVA - Acoustics
CEEF - Facade engineering
ABACA - inflatable structure engineering
8’18’’ - stage and lighting designers
DEMOLITION - ASBESTOS REMOVAL : 2007
DURATION OF WORKS: 2008-2011
GDR CHERPIN - Asbestos removal
COLOMBO - Demolition
CAPALDI - Structural work
CESII - Survey study
NOVUM - Metal frameworks – Roofing
SAM+ - Exterior and interior woodwork
CHAPELEC - Exterior and interior watertightness
VIRY - Glass sun-breaker facade
MERESSE - Wooden framework – Roofing
LA LOUISIANE - Plumbing work
LAMBERT - Exterior woodwork
DBS - Walls – Lining
BONNARDEL - Interior woodwork / Classroom furniture and equipment / Fixed furniture
DECOR ISOLATION - Suspended ceiling
SMGARGINI - Exterior and interior metalwork
VINET - Floor and wall hard coating
France SOL - Floor and wall flexible coating
DUREAU - Paintwork - Podo-tactile coating for stairways
ABSCISSE MARCAL - Signage
SILVERA - Amphitheatre seats - Furniture
SATELEC - Electric works/Intense current/Slack current
SAGA - Heat – Ventilation – Air-conditioning – Smoke extraction and plumbing
OTIS - Elevators
IDFC - Kitchen equipment
SERPES - Green areas
Advancia Business School: tra colore e restauroA Parigi il progetto firmato AS.Architecture
Storia e contemporaneo s’incontrano nell’intervento d’ampliamento e ristrutturazione della Advancia Business School, firmato dai AS.Architecture a Parigi, sulla Armand Moisant rue. Commissionata…