Archives Nationales

Photo credits © Odile Decq


A place of memory without words waiting to be interpreted, the archives preserve the testimonies, the proofs of history. When they are National, they contain the ‘monuments’ of the history of France, its raw materials. The fulfillment of this promise requires the transformation of the material stored, waiting. The combination of the idea of awaiting information and the starting point gives the building that contains the archives an interrogative, even enigmatic character.


The establishment of the National Archives in Pierrefitte sur Seine is an opportunity to enhance near Paris an urban wasteland that could well be assimilated to these waiting materials that are the archives. Its strategic location, between university and residences, gives this project a particular urban vocation. But then it is no longer a question of the monument enclosed in the center of the city but of the equipment which participates in a new urban development.


This is the whole paradox of the project.


Our project will therefore play on the paradox in more ways than one.

Widely open and totally closed.

Inserted in a suburban environment and detached from the ground.

The heavy and the air

The durable and the ephemeral

The unique and the diverse

The neutral and the singular.


The constitution of the project and the building in layers will both express and resolve the game of paradoxes





Pierrefitte-sur-Seine, France
Competition Project