Danone Research and Innovation Centre

Located on the Saclay plateau, an internationally renowned scientific cluster, the Danone Group’s new Research and Innovation Centre optimises the quality of working life and enables the creation, testing and incubation of future innovations. The mixed wood-concrete structure, the care given to the spaces for exchanges and creation, the importance attributed to plant and water management, make this project a symbol of the ambitions of the Danone Group and the complementarity of the agency’s expertise, which also supervised the building work.

Learn more


Type of project New construction
Programme Industry
Contracting authority Danone Research
Architect Arte Charpentier

Location Danone Research
Completion date 2022
Surface area 10 000m²
Environmental approach BBCA, HQE, WELL

Learn more

high, 5 levels, 1 central plaza of 980m² on 10,5 m high, 1 Pilot Workshop of 2 890 m².
Award "Coup de Coeur du Jury" (Favorite of the Jury), Grand Price SIMI 2023; Kytoto Global Design Awards 2023 - Real Estate Design category; Grand Price Cadre de Vie 2022
2 900
of planted terraces, 1 terrace garden of 1 100m ² with an orchard, 1 rain garden of 1 000m ² in open ground

When Danone, a company with a mission, has a commitment to «One planet, one health», you have to come up with answers that are equal to this challenge in order to design a harmonious whole, one that is good to live in for the well-being of employees and, finally, one that is good for the planet as part of a virtuous decarbonization process.

Abbès Tahir, Associate, Partner Architect / Arte Charpentier

Voir d’autres contenus :

  • Perspective
Danone incube Gif axono

L’hybridation structurelle – L’exemple «In’Cube »

28 October 2021

  • Perspective
gestion des eaux pluviales, bagneux

Gestion des eaux pluviales et architecture

23 September 2021

  • Project
Eole Evergreen image principale

Campus Evergreen – Pavillon d’accueil et EOLE

Montrouge, France, 2015

  • Project

Campus Dassault Systèmes

Meudon-la-Forêt, France, 2015

  • Project
Ecole Ducasse – Paris Campus, Meudon, parvis

Ecole Ducasse – Paris Campus

Meudon-la-Forêt, France, 2020

  • Project
Station de traitement des eaux, Orléans, zoom

Station de traitement des eaux

Orléans, France, 2013

  • Project
Université FASEG, Bénin,

Université FASEG

Ouidah, Benin, 2018-2019

  • Post

“EOLE” et “quartier du Pont d’Issy” lauréats aux Pyramides d’argent Ile-de-France !

13 April 2016

Danone R&I International Center Gif-sur-Yvette, France - 2022


Located on the Saclay plateau, an internationally renowned science cluster, the Danone Group’s new Research and Innovation Centre is situated at the heart of one of the world’s eight largest science innovation hubs.

The architecture of the building is designed to create transparency and permeability, between glass facades and openwork filling. The use of wood is predominant throughout the entire building. The concrete structure becomes a wooden structure from the 2nd floor. The central atrium is entirely made of wood. The materials of the facade will be treated in warm tones reminiscent of wood.

This building will embody innovation by optimising the quality of working life and enabling the creation, testing and incubation of future innovations. Dedicated and open spaces will host and co-create with external partners (suppliers, universities, start-ups) and incubate these ideas.
IN’CUBE contains food creation and prototyping labs, project spaces, pilot workshops and scientific laboratories, scalable and coworking spaces for the offices and meeting rooms, a Dan Café, and a consumer space, designed around a central atrium of 900 m² by 10.5 m high to encourage meetings. It uses the codes of a village square, animating the life of the community around different events.

These places of exchange continue into the hall with tiers and create a dual exposure with natural light radiating throughout. Some parts of these spaces are hollowed out to offer all visitors a view of the heart of the building located under the plaza.

The complex program, with a mixed wood-concrete structure, must be carried out in such a way as to also allow the transfer of equipment up to 6 months before the completion of the project (early availability).

IN’CUBE is an exemplary building, embodying Danone’s One Planet One Health mission, which targets HQE Excellent, WEEL, BBCA labels and uses renewable energies such as geothermal energy, solar panels, and rainwater recovery.

Located in the natural environment of the plateau of Saclay, the landscape project resonates with this territory characterised by a historic hydraulic network, central to the urban fabric of the new district. In the Research and Innovation Centre, water is recycled from the roof to the ground. The rain garden, in the open ground, manages the rainwater before discharging it into the valley gutters of the neighborhood.

Plants are the heart of the project. There are 2,900 m² of planted terraces, a terrace garden of 1 100m ² embellished with an orchard, and above all, a garden of 1,000m ² in open ground, a real relaxation area for employees, which also acts as an infiltration garden for rainwater.

The garden

The garden consists of two parts:
– The rain garden: Located on a gentle slope, then in a hollow where the rainwater flows to be infiltrated, its potential flood garden capacity is made possible by the vegetation. Beyond its resilient function, this garden is also a place of relaxation and pleasure. Depending on the seasons and precipitation, part of the space changes from a dry basin to a water basin.
This arrangement animates the garden during the year, and helps to reduce heat islands by the evapotranspiration of plants.
This garden is a wooded area. These species contribute to the development of natural biodiversity adapted to the ecological conditions of the Plateau de Saclay.
– The fruit garden: This garden is an extension of the restaurant terrace. It is also an extension of the interior plaza of the building, to facilitate user circulation. This space is intended to be a place of relaxation and restoration. The selected trees also bear fruit that users can enjoy.

The planted rooves

For the development of biodiversity and the integration of the building opposite an agricultural and forest landscape, the roof is treated with an extensive vegetation system. The plant choice contains perennials, grasses and sedums. These tolerate drought, and offer a long flowering period, from spring to fall. This system requires only low maintenance (2 to 3 passages per year) and is self-sufficient in water.

Recycling water

The issue of resilience and the preservation of resources is omnipresent today. Urban density implies taking into account the scarcity and fragility of the elements that make up the landscape, guaranteeing a pleasant living environment, desirable for men and women, the humans that we are.

One of these fundamental elements is water. Water is a versatile element. It can be too scarce, during summer droughts, or too abundant, during floods and violent storms, which are becoming increasingly frequent.

We can no longer ignore climate change and global warming. Using and recycling water in projects is essential, whether on the scale of a building, by avoiding sending water to the car parks, where it becomes waste water; by highlighting the path of water on the facades; by integrating it into gardens and public spaces. This way, the groundwater is replenished and the cities are refreshed.


Contracting authority
– Contracting authority: Danone Research
– User ACA: ADMO


Project management
– Architect: Arte Charpentier (Abbès TahirSaïd NjeimAlexandre Maneval, Abderrahman Ech Chikh, Angélique Mamah Soglo, Carine Siret, Nazim BelblidiaAdèle Clin-Cassagne, Olivier CarraraJean-Frédérick LokoAudrey Cyprien, Guillaume Delfesc, Luc JouyKarim Hachemi, Neil Milliet)
– Landscaping: Arte Charpentier (Nathalie LeroyMathilde Charee)
– Interior architecture: Arte Charpentier (Stéphane QuignaBenjamin Mahieu, Lola Richard)
– MOEX: Arte Charpentier (Francesco Ballarin, Longwei ChenSaïd Njeim)

Design office
– Economist: AE75
– Control office: VERITAS
– Fluids: INEX
– Structure: Conception Service Consulting
– Environment: OASIIS
– Façades: JOSEPH Ingénierie
– Acoustics: AIDA


– Address: RD128 ZAC du Moulon 91190 Gif-sur-Yvette
– Image credits: DR Arte Charpentier


Credits: Christophe Valtin


Type of project New construction
Programme Industry
Contracting authority Danone Research
Architect Arte Charpentier

Location Danone Research
Completion date 2022
Surface area 10 000m²
Environmental approach BBCA, HQE, WELL

Danone R&I International Center

Receive the latest news from the agency