“Hexagone Balard” / Nicolas Michelin & Associates

“hexagone balard” / nicolas michelin & associates

Recently inaugurated by French President François Hollande, France’s new Department of Defense, is a monumental building of 165 000 m2 that was planned to house nearly 10,000 persons. A real city within the city located in the 15th arrondissement of Paris.

“hexagone balard” / nicolas michelin & associates

“Hexagone Balard” is France’s new Department of Defense. Desined by Agence Nicolas Michelin & Associés (ANMA) this project is an extaordianry adventure and a formidable challenge: 165 000 m2 planned to house nearly 10,000 persons. The building is oxymoronic, both sovereign and discreet. The architecture of the building oscillates between its external monumentality, with “facade-cliffs” pierced by a real drawbridge, and its interior garden landscapes, offering views from one end to the other of the building.

“hexagone balard” / nicolas michelin & associates

The exterior draws a long white enclosure that evokes the headquarters of an entity working to preserve the balances of the world. Opposite to the Parisian ring, the fortress leans, revealing only the roof of the building. This fifth façade is a vast topography levitating, an unusual landscape in the Parisian setting. Three chimneys punctuate this origami of metal panels and solar glass. They symbolize the three forces of the army.

“hexagone balard” / nicolas michelin & associates

Built on stilts, the building is a rhizome, whose heights vary to reach the highest central room dedicated to the highest hierarchy. Against all odds, the Department of Defense is also a tree-filled campus, offering many gardens. All the offices are distributed within the green areas.

“hexagone balard” / nicolas michelin & associates

In addition to the headquarters of the Department, the project includes many facilities, some of them open to the public and the inhabitants of the neighborhood : a health center with several medical offices, two nurseries, a hairdressing salon and a swimming pool. Conceived as a real living space, this campus is a city within the city.

Project Details:
Location: Paris, France
Area 165 000 sqm
Architects: Nicolas Michelin & Associates

Aline Chahine
Aline is an international licensed architect currently practicing in Canada, she is the reason you are reading this right now, Aline founded the platform back in 2008 shaping the very foundation of Architecture Lab, her exemplary content curation process that defines the online magazine today.
Aline Chahine
Aline Chahine
Aline is an international licensed architect currently practicing in Canada, she is the reason you are reading this right now, Aline founded the platform back in 2008 shaping the very foundation of Architecture Lab, her exemplary content curation process that defines the online magazine today. Highlights Aline founded Architecture Lab in 2008 Lead editor of dan | dailyarchnews since 2019 Founded and Creative Director of DesignRaid Licensed architect with creative sales and marketing experience Experience As full-fledged architect, Aline's background involved a great deal of research that lead to the creation of Architecture Lab as an online database of exemplary design. Her experience snowballed into founding two architecture platforms, Architecture Lab and DesignRaid. Education Aline received USEK’s Master of Architecture in 2004 and BA in English from the University of Toronto
TITLE | Founder of Architecture Lab
About Architecture Lab Architecture Lab is a MKR.S Media brand, a website devoted to extraordinary design and aesthetics aiming to promote exceptional aesthetic values and sustainable design in all it's shapes and sizes. Learn more about us and our editorial process and feel free to contact us if you would like to see something in particular on the website, our certified experts will get back to you with the most trustworthy advice as soon as possible. Read all articles by Aline | Follow her on LinkedIn

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