Back to projects

Cité de refuge

Restoration and modernisation of the Salvation Army’s building « The Cité de Refuge » 1933


First major Parisian commission of Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret, the Cité Refuge is an experiment on an urban scale.


The novelty of the programme – the application of the five points of modern architecture theory on a very constrained urban site – the technical ambition of the machine à habiter with its respiration exacte and mur neutralisant, alterations to the post-war façade by Le Corbusier; everything is « extra-ordinary ».

The challenge was to adapt this building to its new uses while showing the architecture.

This operation allowed us to devise and experiment with the method of active restoration – a process of collective bargaining between conservation and use based on an exemplary exchange between all interested parties. We implemented architectural and technical solutions founded on a clear, shared and hierarchical presentation of knowledge, doubts and constraints.

  • LocationParis (75013)                                                          
  • ClientRSF/I3F
  • Schedule2011-2015
  • Cost/AreaNC / 7 154 m2
  • TeamFrançois Chatillon, architect
    Opera Architectes, global supervisor
    COTEC, Engineering consultant
    Vanessa Fernandez, architect and historian advisor
    Emmanuelle Gallo, historian