An example of Covivio’s transformation of historic Parisian portfolio
An illustration of the customised support offered by Covivio
Spaces and services tailor made
Located at 40 boulevard de Port-Royal in the 5th arrondissement of Paris, this 4,500 m² building, owned by Covivio since 2006 and until now occupied by Orange, has now been fully restructured. This is the seventh Wellio spot, flexible office and services solution developed by Covivio.
In October 2020, Covivio announced the commercialisation of the entire property, which will welcome its future occupant, a public structure, in a few days’ time. Drawn by the location, a stone’s throw away from the Gobelins tapestry factory and Luxembourg Gardens, the genius loci, inspired by the Gobelins universe, and the total flexibility of the site, this public structure will house its teams there for a period of around 5 years, under a service agreement.
Covivio and Paris: reinventing unique historic buildings
Following projects in the 8th, 12th and 18th arrondissements, Covivio has chosen the 5th arrondissement for its latest Wellio spot. Each Wellio spot is housed in properties owned by the Group, of which there are many in Paris. Covivio holds 29 assets in the city, covering some 340,000 m² of surface area. Of this total, more than half have already been transformed, are undergoing or will undergo redevelopment by the end of the year. The second half offers just as much potential for imagining the workspaces of tomorrow.
At Gobelins, the Wellio solution occupies a typical 1910s building, a former telephone exchange acquired by Covivio in 2006 and occupied by Orange until 2018.
The Covivio’s tailor made approach ranging from consulting to operation
The other notable feature of this site lies in its design, for which Covivio shared its expertise in new uses of workspaces with the future occupant’s management and teams. Numerous design thinking workshops on such themes as layout, service planning and expression of corporate culture were organised, in order to design a custom building that reflects the image of its occupant.
Wellio Gobelins offers a wide range of services: dedicated reception team, two bars (reception and 490 m² rooftop with panoramic views over Paris), sports coaching (yoga/Pilates), wellness sessions (sophrology, osteopathy, etc.), a cultural programme (temporary exhibitions, workshops, concerts), a cooperative vegetable garden, a communal library, as well as 120 m² of terrace and patio space.
“Always prepared to go the extra mile as part of its customised approach, Covivio also worked with the customer’s “agence verte” (an internal unit responsible for sustainable development issues). Numerous adjustments were made to the project as a consequence, such as the creation of a cooperative vegetable garden on the roof terrace, increasing the size of the bicycle store or a dedicated area for bartering and exchanging second-hand products. These discussions also covered the customisation of the site’s IT infrastructure, including the creation of a dedicated connection to the future occupant’s data centre”, says Céline Leonardi, France Offices Leasing Director Covivio & Wellio Director.
The quality of spaces, the result of a collaborative approach, and the flexible contract offered by Wellio, meet the demand for agility among today’s companies. This operation also illustrates the complementary nature of the solutions and expertise offered by Covivio, a go-to partner able to support its customers’ transformation and transition towards new ways of working and collaborating.
A place inspired by two illustrious neighbours
As for each of the spaces in the network, Wellio Gobelins is a unique concept, designed by Cocorico architect agency and inspired by the Gobelins universe, combining age-old craftsmanship motifs derived from the former Gobelins tapestry factory with the unique visual culture of the Gobelins School of Visual Arts. As a result, occupants will be surrounded by a visual universe entirely unique to the property, including an immersive entrance with animated walls and a majestic chandelier, giant tapestries and a video fresco… a space that is conducive to collaboration, exchange and the assimilation of new working methods.
“The Wellio Gobelins concept is the subtle and innovative combination of two Parisian institutions and their respective worlds. Do you prefer woven tapestries or digital imagery? We’ve made our choice: both”, said Mathieu Girard, co-founder of Cocorico Paris.
“When this project was offered to us, we found it highly original! It was the chance to see our work applied to a public setting. We have been very open-minded, from the definition of the concept to the final selection. We have learnt a great deal, such as working together, which required excellent communication not only among ourselves but also with all the other project stakeholders. We are extremely proud to know that our work will be seen, will surprise people and maybe even make them laugh!”, said Johan Garcia and Hortense Brassart, motion graphic design students at Gobelins.
Sustainable high-performance renovation
The renovation of this building is in line with Covivio’s commitments to sustainable development and reducing its carbon footprint. The project’s architectural characteristics entail lower greenhouse gas emissions (535 tCO2e) than a standard renovation. By way of comparison, demolition and reconstruction of the building would have emitted around 3,236 tCO2e more.
Measures were also implemented to promote biodiversity at the site, which did not contain any green spaces: analysis and planning of landscaping, reclaiming land in the courtyard, plotting the green terraces and garden, seeking consistency with regard to the challenges of green infrastructure (continuity of animal and plant life). Covivio has created 350 m² of vegetated space covering 25% of the site’s plot area. Beyond the numbers, this project has contributed to develop a multi-layered flora comprising trees, shrubs, grasses and vines: a fine example of positive biodiversity.
“This well-structured building with large windows houses a telephone exchange on part of the second floor: we have overcome these constraints by building the necessary vertical and horizontal circulation systems on the outside. All this new etched glass – windows, galleries and lifts – reveals the façade brickwork and rendering. Movements are staged and lit up. The building offers a panoramic journey, from the ground-level patio to the wood-panelled roof terrace, full of surprises, changing views and spaces for meeting and working more productively”, concluded Hervé Cornou, Architect Partner at Palissad Architecture.
Wellio Gobelins in a nutshell:
- 4,500 m² of living and working space including private and shared offices, meeting rooms, amphitheatre, conviviality areas, a roof terrace, and more…
- A single occupant will move in under a service agreement for around 5 years
- Panel of services operated by Wellio: reception and concierge service, on-site welcome team, communal areas, café, terrace, office furniture, photocopier, dark fibre WiFi, and more…
- Redevelopment architect: Palissad
- Wellio project architect: Cocorico
- A partnership* with the Gobelins School of Visual Arts: three-year student grant programme including support for three projects each year to be put on display at Wellio Gobelins
- HQE certification 2016 “Excellent” rating
- BREEAM certification “Very Good” rating
- WiredScore certification targeted
- A transaction carried out without a broker on the recommendation of an existing Covivio tenant at another site.
* Details of the partnership with the Gobelins School of Visual Arts:
Wellio gave carte blanche to the Gobelins motion graphic design students. As part of a workshop lasting several weeks, the students worked on the connection between woven tapestries and digital imagery and created the building’s immersive entrance in which digital images are transposed into a virtual green universe streamed constantly on the screens covering the walls and ceiling. In the “School” space, every 20 minutes, six videos bring to life part of a tapestry from the Gobelins factory; an entire wall of the ground floor meeting room is filled with 25 drawing boards around the animated film, “Protocole Sandwich”, played on a large central screen. Download the photo report here.