The Lopez tower, now known as “Seine Panorama”, is the headquarters of Naval Group, formerly the DCNS, a French industrial group specialising in naval defence and marine renewable energy.
Lopez Tower, designed in 1953 by Raymond Lopez, and formerly housing the Social Welfare offices, is an iconic building of the 20th century. One of the reasons for its reputation is the use of innovatory structural steel construction techniques. The renovation by Arte Charpentier preserved the key existing elements, such as the metal structure and the overall space organisation of the building while adapting it to current regulatory requirements and usage conditions. This renovation project respects the intentions of the original design, both in terms of visual and thermal comfort and use of space and light.
One of the guiding concepts of the design of interior spaces was to put on show the company’s expertise and technological know-how. The integration and display of models and prototypes of naval architecture begins in the reception and accompanies the visitor’s passage through the building.
Design of senior management areas, including directors’ offices, consulting rooms and waiting areas. The treatment of these spaces gives a relaxed feel to a professional environment firmly oriented towards strategy and technology.
The entrance reception incorporates a VIP waiting area, and an exhibition area for the display of ship models and company brochures.
The « Luminous Wall »
Véronique Sabatier, sculptor
In the original 1950s design, the entrance hall, ground floor areas and restaurant were carried out with the artistic participation of Simone Lopez. In this remodelling scheme, Véronique Sabatier’s artistic skills were called upon to design a ‘luminous wall’ for the entrance hall; a modern wink to Raymond Lopez, who edited an artistic review called ‘Mur Vivant’, or ‘Living Wall’, which dealt with the subject of the integration of art in architecture. This ‘living wall’, a three-dimensional frieze made of laser-cut steel of 20m in length, describes an abstract landscape of organic forms evoking moss, lichen and bark, extending the gardens seen outside into the interior of the building. The sculpture is a play on texture, depth, shadow and light.
The restaurant retains the full-height glazing of the original design, and the ‘skydomes’, which provide top-lighting, are identical in form to the original ones.
The restaurant furniture, created in 2009 to suit the modern-day needs of a corporate restaurant, seeks to harmonize with the more rounded forms to be found throughout the building such as the skydomes, amongst other features. The colour red is also used in a number of places such as the ‘luminous wall’ sculpture, the Japanese maples in the gardens, and other accents.
The offices – a great spatial freedom.
The open-plan offices allow great flexibility in use. Many configurations are possible, including open co-working space, shared or individual workstations. The continuous glazed facades mean that all spaces benefit from natural lighting, and the wooden joinery of the façade’s internal face increases the feeling of warmth of interiors.
– Client: BNP Paribas Real Estate
– User: Naval Group (formerly DCNS)
– Architect representative: Arte Charpentier Architectes
– Project manager: DCNS
– Layout: Agencement Paul Champs
– Artist: Véronique Sabatier
– Address: 40-42 rue du docteur Finlay
– Post code: 75 015
– City: Paris
– Completion: 2009
– Programme: Interior design of client and senior management areas, head office of DCNS
– Rental office space: No
– Floor area: 726m²
Photo credits: DR Arte Charpentier Architectes