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Taming complexity

At Arte Charpentier, we have experience with complex projects because we have a taste for them.
Since 1969, they have benefited from our best expertise, from our innovation and our reactivity. Every day, they compel us to renew our practice of architecture, of urban planning, of interior design and landscaping, which must necessarily be alert and contextual. Shared by more than 110 collaborators of 17 nationalities, including 20 associates, in Paris, Lyon, Shanghai and Wuhan, these high standards reflect the developments of urban and territorial issues, in France and throughout the world.
Collaborators of 15 different nationalities, in Paris, Lyon and Shanghai
Projects since the creation of the office in 1969


Creation of the office

In 1969, Jean-Marie Charpentier created an architecture office and gave it the name of Arte (Architecture, Research Technique and Urban Spaces - Espaces urbains). From its beginnings, the agency carried out a number of projects in the fields of industry and research, in France and abroad (Great Britain, Germany, Spain, Brazil, etc).


Dreams of new cities and housing complexes

In 1973, Arte Charpentier won the competition for the layout of the Val Maubuee neighbourhood in Marne-la-Vallee. The project did not come to fruition, but for the office, it prefigured a period of housing projects in new cities in the 1980s (Ru de Nestle neighbourhood in Marne-la-Vallee, Luzard neighbourhood in Champs-sur-Marne, etc). Social housing became a field for original reflections, a real laboratory for research, innovation and experimentation.


New industrial concepts and first office projects

Thoughout the 1980s, Arte Chapentier carried out its first Urban Industrial Hotels and Business Villas, new concepts in industrial real estate. From 1986, having developed a real expertise in terms of housing, laboratories, and activities (ZAC Paris-Nord II), the agency began to invest in the tertiary sector and in office projects (Creeks headquarters, JVC, Apple, regional direction of AXA (Grand Axe at Cergy Pontoise (1990), Le Dome at Roissypole (1991), EMGP Parc du Millenaire, at the Porte d’Aubervilliers, Euroatrium (2000) in Saint-Ouen, Athos Seine Rive gauche (2000)…


The beginning of the Chinese adventure

Arte Charpentier took part in the first cooperation and expertise missions in China, carried out by the Institut Français d'Architecture, for the diversification of housing and urban rehabilitation in Shanghai, specifically for the competition for the Qianjiatang neighbourhood, Huaihai Street.


Setting up in Cambodia

Jean-Marie Charpentier had maintained close friendships from his time in Cambodia as a teacher at the Architecture department of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Phnom Penh in the 1960s. Several of his former students took part in the development of the agency. From the late 1980s, Arte Charpentier assisted the Cambodian government and UNESCO to have the Angkor site listed as an historical monument. In 1994, Arte Charpentier won the consultation for the Urban planning of Siem-Reap - Angkor and opened an agency in Cambodia. This branch carried out several projects, including the renovation of the Central Market in Phnom-Penh in 2011, an emblematic and bioclimatic building from 1935. Jean-Marie Charpentier and Pierre Clément led and presided over the Association des Amis d’Angkor.


Saint-Lazare: a new metro station in Paris

In 1991, Arte Charpentier was chosen to build the new Saint-Lazare metro station on the Meteor line. This important exchange terminal, which is deeply buried into the ground, is characterised by the "glass lens" that serves as an access. It was completed in 2003. Arte Charpentier carried out other major transport projects: the passenger terminal for Eurotunnel (1992), the extension of the Nancy railway station for the arrival of the TGV (2008). The building of the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Roissy, with Helmut Jahn, paved the way for a series of collaborations with leading international agencies; SOM, KPF, Morphosis, Foster, BIG…


The Shanghai Opera House and major Chinese projects

In 1994, Arte Charpentier won the international competition for the Shanghai Opera House, which was completed in 1998. This success marked an important stage in the agency's Chinese adventure. After the Opera House, Arte Charpentier carried out a number of other major projects in China: the Grand Shanxi Theatre, the headquarters of General Motors in Shanghai, the Ala'er Museum in Xingqiang, the Visa Centre for the administrative offices in Shanghai, the Xinzhou cultural centre and opera house, also in Shanxi.


The "Century Avenue" in Pudong and the Eco-neighbourhood of Wanli in Puxi (Shanghai)

For the turn of the century and the millennium, the Municipality of Shanghai launched several international competitions. Arte Charpentier designed the Century Avenue in Shanghai, the "Champs Elysees" of Pudong, 100m wide and 5.5km long, with the Central Plaza at one end. It was the first modern public space in a Chinese metropolis. At the same time, the agency was chosen for the pedestrianisation of Nanking Street. Arte Charpentier also won the competition for the implementation of new ecological neighbourhoods, developing a concept of collective housing with courtyard-gardens and urban parks for 100,000 people over 160 hectares. The project was completed very quickly and was awarded the Grand Prix de l’Urbanisme. It paved the way for many future urban projects: the new city of Nanhui, the Gaoqiao competition, a competition for a city of 2 million inhabitants in Zhengzhou. In 2002, the Chinese subsidiary was created in Shanghai, under the direction of Zhou Wenyi and Pierre Chambron. At the same time, the Meridien Hotel was completed in Noumea, in New Caledonia.


Creation of the European Architects' Network

Since 2000, Arte Charpentier has been a founding member of the European Architects' Network (EAN), a network of agencies working together to provide customers with the same quality of response across Europe. At the same time, Arte Charpentier won the competition for the Modernisation Plan of the Kaohsiung seafront in Taipei.


Tour Lumiere in Lyon and creation of a new agency branch in Lyon

Having won the competition for the second tower in Lyon (now renamed the Oxygen tower), Arte Charpentier developed its expertise in the field of High Rise Buildings, in France, at La Défense, with several competitions, at the Pont d'Issy, and at the Shanghai Tour Luis on the Century Avenue... The office became established in Lyon with the Carre de soie (completed in 2008), the Veolia Environnement training center in Jonage (2012), the Silex² Tower (2021).



"Arte Charpentier architectes", the first monograph about the office’s work since its foundation. In 2005, "Arte Charpentier and Partners Architects" was published in China by Dalian University, in French, English and Chinese.


The office develops its interior design department

Around Edith Richard, the office signed the layout for the Directorate of Naval Constructions DCNS in the Tour Lopez 2009, the Dassault Systems Campus 2009 – 2017… the Oxygen Tower 2010, the new headquarters of Areva 2013, Credit Agricole's Eole Campus Evergreen 2015, Shift 2019… In 2020, Stephane Quigna, a long-time partner of the office, took over the reins of the department.


Major renovations and headquarters

Arte Charpentier completed or studied several major renovation operations in Paris (Ilot Lafayette, Antin-Haussmann, Imprimerie nationale, Tour Lopez - CAF) and the Fashion Pole in Shanghai, and built headquarters for large companies (Aviva, Axa Grand Axe-La Defense Nanterre, Areva…). The office is currently building the headquarters of Dassault Systems in Velizy, now in its third phase, and the research centers of L'Oreal and Saint-Gobain in Shanghai. At the same time, the office continues to develop in the France (Lyon, Cherbourg, Nancy, etc.) and internationally (Algeria, Morocco, the Middle East, Spain).


The Arte Charpentier group won the competition for the layout of Algiers Bay.

A major project over 80km long, relocating the industrial port, reconciling the city and the sea, combining the renovation and development of major infrastructures and extension districts. Accompanied by emblematic architectural projects: Terrasses du Port, Place des Martyrs, new "affordable housing" districts. This project inaugurated Arte Charpentier's development in Africa: Park Mall Complex in Setif (2008 – 2017), Vision 2040 for Grand Conakry (Guinea 2016), and development in Benin.


"Build City & Create Urbanity"

Publication of a book testifying to Arte Charpentier's commitment to address present and future urban challenges by means of 18 projects. The same year, the project for the Arrault Island Water Treatment Plant began in Orleans, where the industrial infrastructure was successfully integrated into the World Heritage-listed landscape on the banks of the Loire.


Elithis Tower in Dijon

An innovative, experimental project of an office tower with positive energy, it prefigured the housing towers still under construction in Dijon. Completion of the Dassault Systems Head Office and Campus at Velizy, which will undergo successive extensions, including a third phase under construction in 2021.


Death of Jean-Marie Charpentier, the founder of the agency

A public tribute was paid to him in the Gaveau room on March 28th, 2011, by Jean-Louis Raffarin, Gerard Collomb, Jean-Pierre Duport… during an architecture debate, followed by a concert. Many messages of sympathy were addressed to Arte Charpentier from around the world, and from China in particular. The long-term associates Pierre Clement, Andrew Hobson, Jerome Le Gall, Abbes Tahir, Stephanie Siac and Antonio Frausto picked up the torch. That same year, the office was confirmed in its success in the competition for the creation of Eole, the head office of CACIB, which brings together the activities of the Credit Agricole Bank on its Evergreen Campus in Montrouge, and by the choice of the Chinese Embassy which retained the agency to take care of the interior design for its Chancellery in an eighteenth-century mansion.


Creation of Arte Charpentier Interiors and Arte Charpentier Territories

Arte Charpentier is transformed into simplified joint-stock company and the number of associated architects increased to 22 associates. The office won the competition for the Tour Lopez in Paris. Arte Charpentier Interiors expanded (new headquarters of Areva, headquarters of the DCNS, the redevelopment of Algiers Bay over 50 ha) and Arte Charpentier Territories was created, combining the office’s expertise in urban planning and landscaping into a single team.


Completion of the Citizen's Centre in Wuhan

The first iconic building built in the Chinese metropolis, and the first public building with such pronounced ecological ambitions. Wuhan, where Arte Charpentier has since developed a large number of major urban projects including the CBD of Wuchang, the Franco-Chinese eco-city of Caidian and its priority peninsula neighbourhood (2019). Publication, in the same year, of the book "De l'Architecture à la Ville: Arte Charpentier en Chine 2002-2012". Completion of the Jomchang villas in Phuket.


Shared Territories

Publication of a book testifying to Arte Charpentier's commitment to the Territories, the product of the joint work undertaken over ten years by the Urban Planning department, directed by Marie-France Bouet, and the Landscape department, directed by Nathalie Leroy. These departments have been mobilised since 2009, and for the long term, with the ZAC eco-neighbourhood Victor Hugo in Bagneux, also in 2021, integrating a new centrality with the arrival of the extension of the metro line 4 and the Grand Paris Express line 15, where the agency is also responsible for the project management of public spaces. Completion of the Saisons de Meaux shopping centre and the Roissypole hotel complex in the same year.


Modernisation of 30 urban markets in Benin

Renovation or new construction (under construction). This first project in the country resulted in a study for a university and the redevelopment of the park around the national stadium, as well as the development of commercial facilities.


50 years!

Celebration of the 50th anniversary of Arte Charpentier in the Shift building in Issy-les-Moulineaux, designed by the agency in 1992 (renovation and extension), which would become the headquarters of Nestle France.


The Board of Directors expands

The Board of Directors welcomes 3 new directors: Marie-France Bouet, Nathalie Leroy and Raquel Milagres, and this rejuvenation gently prepares the succession and sustainability of the office; Stephanie Siac and Antonio Frausto join Andrew Hobson, Jerome Legall and Abbes Tahir as Managing Directors. Despite the health crisis, construction sites have resumed and projects are being completed one after the other: the Ecole Ducasse-Paris Campus in Meudon, two Hilton Hotels at Porte de France in Tours, Courcelles in Paris, the 185 in Neuilly, Silex 2 in Lyon… and other projects are on target in Douains, for the ZAC Normandie Parc, near Vernon, for the Village de marques de McArthurGlen, Boulevard Branly for the Banques Populaires Group, in Velizy for the 3rd phase of the Dassault Systems Campus, and in Cotonou, Abomey, Porto Novo, Parakou for the markets of Benin.

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