Inhabit Paris Historical Royal Axis

Oxygen is a new city gate of Paris towards La Defense, Europe’s biggest business disctrict . This entrance is straight penetrating line from Paris, the roads and La Seine’s river banks. Indeed, the project is placed inside the Royal Axis, the main historical figure of Parisian urbanism created in the sixteenth century. This East-West perspective crosses the Napoleon Court of Le Louvre, Les Tuileries Garden, La Place de la Concorde, l’Avenue des Champs Elysees, l’Arc de Triomphe and stretches out until La Defense.
Oxygen’s buildings are the only constructions of the XXI century that are built on this historical axis, a reason why, from the study phase Malka Architecture Agency proposal aimed to create  public spaces with a landscaped garden in such an exceptional Parisian panorama, creating a dialogue with history.
The original site was delivered in 1990 for the outdoor concert and light show event of pioneer artist Jean-Michel Jarre, then the site gradually felt into disuse by lack of adequate programming. Thus, the Oxygen name is a tribute to the musician’s major visionary electronic album.
Oxygen’s complex is built below and above the surface of the slab of La Défense, according to Stéphane Malka’s urban planning precepts developed in the book “Le Petit Pari(s)”: It is a reactivation of a neglected urban space and a new architectural parasite project.

This 21 000 sq ft contemporary generation of outdoor and indoor mall integrates a hanging garden on the forecourt, a restaurant of the french Michelin-starred chef Michel Rostang and a modular bar-club. On the lower level, directly connected to various facilities, the equipment offers a generous 180 degree landscaped balcony, four open and covered terraces, a café, a coworking space and three restaurants.
The buildings were prefabricated to simplify the difficult site access, and avoid nuisance on site. The sunscreen facade is made of recycled bamboo strips; This ecologically responsible and thermic double skin creates a kinetic effect from the expressway, the metro or the forecourt, while the interior is visible or disappear, depending of the perspectives.
Oxygen plays with the contrasts of La Défense, and offers a great diversity of plants thanks to the multiple terraces with dominant minerality. Its dark and mysterious wooded façades denote a landscape of clear steel and glass. The emergence of the project is six meters high, which allows to reconnect with a human scale in the middle of the gigantism of the skyscrapers district.
The project is directly connected to the Grande Arche, as these are the only two buildings built on the historic axis on the territory of La Defense; The buildings were implanted to have the Arch in the center of the two building seen from Parisian perspective. On the forecourt, each building reveals itself as a hyper cube in the reflections of the Takis basin, a tribute to Spreckelsen’s Arch masterpiece.

  • Client: SAS Oxygen 92 – Altarea Cogedim
  • State: Delivered July 2019
  • Program: 4 Restaurants, Coffe Shop, Co-Working, Offices & Gardens
  • Area; 21 000 sq ft
  • Location: Esplanade de La Défense (Puteaux-Courbevoie)
  • Equipe: Studio Malka Architecture & Landscape Architect, Legendre Structural Ingeneers

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