Paris, France

The new office of Proudreed, a French real estate group, occupies an historic hôtel particulier in Paris. These types of townhouse mansions were originally built in the seventeenth or eighteenth centuries as urban residences for aristocratic families; today they often house institutions, commercial premises or dwellings. Located in the 16th arrondisement, this hôtel particulier features ornate carved stone details and ironwork balustrades on the facade, a prominent entry porch and a grand internal staircase. The building’s residential heritage seamlessly interweaves with the concept of the office interior designed by Studio Philippe Cosson. The design reflects the atmosphere of a modern house in a high-end, professional context, resulting in an elegant work environment that exudes both warmth and sophistication.

The five-storey building accommodates mainly office spaces for approximately sixty people. Ground level houses the reception, library and a ramp that leads to underground parking. On the first floor are also meeting rooms, and a courtyard garden is situated directly above the car park. The identity of a house and the building’s original features form the starting points of the design. The use of colour was essential for both suggesting the feel of a modern home and enlivening the atmosphere of the office: the palette of brown, beige and grey provides a calm basis accented by red highlights. As a playful detail, sections of colour are applied on the walls, sometimes unexpectedly, for example across a mirror. Original features like the stairwell, timber floorboards, panelled walls and decorative plasterwork are retained and complemented by new details. For example, rugs enable the timber floors to remain visible. Art is used throughout to further allude to the home.  

In line with the design concept and professional requirements, USM furniture plays a central role in the interior. Aesthetically and functionally, it perfectly fits both the atmosphere of a contemporary home and the image of a high-end corporate environment. “USM furniture was chosen for its grace, style and colour possibilities that can shift the project to an atmosphere of a ‘house’ rather than an office, which was especially desired for this concept,” explains Philippe Cosson. “Furthermore, the furniture is timeless, long-lasting and exceptionally manufactured.”

From the beginning of the design process, Studio Philippe Cosson and USM collaborated closely to identify the specific requirements of each space and select the USM furniture correspondingly. Importantly, the selected USM colours and finishes seamlessly match the interior colour scheme. A high level of customisation was involved in the project. Every office has a different layout based on a unique set of USM furniture, around which other pieces were selected to match. Offices feature grouped workstations composed of white Haller tables – some installed with privacy panels – paired with beige shelves that also double as partitions. Long white Haller tables placed along the wall function as flexible work desks. In the private office, which resembles a luxurious salon, a low sideboard is combined with two freestanding Haller tables – one used as an office desk and the other as a meeting table. Storage units in varying heights are treated more as bookshelves, used either in black or white, and freestanding or grouped. Haller tables with lacquered veneer tabletops, complemented by ruby red sideboards, lend a warm atmosphere to the meeting rooms. Composed of a series of black shelves, the reception counter makes an elegant first impression to visitors. 

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