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New life for an industrial building designed by Eiffel


In 2016 the Hutchinson Group, a corporation that manufactures and markets products derived from rubber, presented the renovation of its historic factory in Châlette-sur-Loing. It established the company in this industrial town to the south of Paris after it was founded in 1853, in the spot occupied by the royal Langlée paper mill, which in its turn had replaced an old mill. After the paper mill was prey to a fire in 1869, Gustave Eiffel’s company designed a new building for Hutchinson with a metallic structure.

Almost 150 years later, this important element of French industrial heritage has been transformed by the group into the headquarters of its innovation and creation centre, denominated the “507 Fab House”. The project by the Encore Heureux team, chosen after a competition in 2013, is characterised by its marked restraint and general respect for the original structure.

On the outside the project maintained the volumetry and limited itself to renewing the joinery and roof, which now boasts metallic cladding and new roof lights. The interior intervention is minimalist: integrated into the original structure and making the most of its modulation, three containers are arranged to address the more specific ground-floor programme (auditorium, seminar rooms, offices, videoconference rooms or virtual reality rooms, for example). But the space that takes centre stage in the building is undoubtedly the general, open-plan and highly luminous space that provides deep perspectives and crossed visuals. This space, as well as resolving the circulations, plays the role of a meeting point and a space for informal meetings, thus creating a pleasant, welcoming space for a collaborative environment.

A great staircase and a convivial slide situated on a double height in the central foyer unite the building’s two floors and help to shape the reception space. The installations have been left in view and, together with the un-renovated texture of the walls, contrast with the refined finishes of the intervention. A small adjacent volume houses the kitchen and the dining space.

In conclusion, we can say that the project’s primary decision is recognised at a glance: the full prominence of the building falls on the historic structure designed by Gustave Eiffel, which sets out on a new life thanks to this intervention. Undoubtedly a good opportunity for industrial architecture.


510 Rue Gustave Nourry
45120 Châlette-sur-Loing. France



104 Rue d’Aubervilliers
75019 Paris. France

T/+33 (0)1 53 19 09 36

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