A building envelope becomes a model for the renovation of a heritage group of buildings

A building envelope becomes a model for the renovation of a heritage group of buildings


A building of characteristically modern architecture, dating from the first half of the 20th century, stands in Geneva’s green district of Florissant. Erected in 1934 and designed by the architect Edmond Glaser, it is part of a superb heritage group of three linear buildings. Now, 80 years after its construction, it needed rejuvenating.

Consulted by its owners, our architecture department suggested completely redoing the building’s envelope to enhance it. Noting that renovations carried out in the neighbourhood in recent years had often replaced exterior woodwork with PVC components, thus completely ignoring the original architectural style, we thought it more appropriate to look into other options for renovating the envelope. After consulting the Commission des Monuments, de la Nature et des Sites (CMNS), we chose to use original materials, such as wood, in our design for the new doors and windows. Triple-glazed windows with wooden frames were chosen, since these respect the partitions of the existing elements while reducing the width of the stiles and crosspieces. In addition, only colours approved by the CMNS were used for the loggias, facades, railings and stairwell.

In this way, we worked on a renovation that aimed to restore the building’s former charm. Our approach, monitored and validated by the CMNS, also led the latter to describe the finished project as a model for renovation of this heritage group.

Our philosophy and guiding principle in renovation works is respect for the authenticity of the building and protection of the spirit of an area. In our eyes, the charm of a place stems from the beauty and harmonious style of the buildings that are part of its history.



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