Quai Building

Quai d'Orsay

A Major Transformation: Demolition in the Main Building

The Quai d'Orsay renovation project is big.

In fact, it's the biggest construction project AUP has undertaken since we built our Grenelle building from scratch in the late 1980s.

There are many reasons why this project is so big. Of course, one of most obvious is that we’re completely overhauling and restructuring the building, replacing all the systems, finishes and fixtures, and demolishing the courtyard buildings so we can reconstruct new ones in their place.

But more specifically, we’re converting an office building into a facility that will welcome students – the primary users of the future space – and the general public, who will come to attend our many lectures, conference and other events.

This means we need to do things like put in new elevators to replace the two elderly machines that were so tiny, they could only accommodate three very slim people who didn’t mind being extremely close together. Naturally, this requires demolishing the existing elevator shafts on all ten floors.

Moreover, French building code obliges us to create two large staircases running all the way up the building – which means demolishing 30 m² (320 sq. ft.) of metal beams and reinforced concrete on every floor. And that’s a heavy, noisy operation! As we demolish, the interior looks increasingly impressive: it’s not every day that you see a building containing a huge vertical opening several floors high!

There are lots of other reasons why the Quai d’Orsay project is big for AUP – but we’ll address those in a future post.