The Cognacq-Jay success story sounds like typical of the second part of the XIXth century. Starting from zero, the couple built a significant fortune in the department store business. Their legacy to the city of Paris consists of several beautiful buildings, not least of which is the Samaritaine department store on the Seine by the Pont Neuf. In the absence of an heir, the couple established the Fondation Cognacq-Jay to perpetuate their activities. For besides their commerce, they were very active and generous, if somewhat paternalistic. The foundation to this day still manages a maternity hospital, a children’s hospital, a children’s home, a professional school, an arboretum not mentioning a fine arts museum, some real estate and the retirement home in Rueil.
Once a boarding school for girls, then a convent, the building in Rueil has long been a retirement home. With the aging of the neo-gothic XIXth century building and the evolution of regulations and safety and sanitary requirements in the field, serious work had to be considered. A decision to double the capacity of the facility came with it. The question has been addressed straightforwardly; a new facility of equal volume and capacity comes as a twin with a three story gallery to link it to the ancient one. The new constructions bend to the typology of the old one up to the saddle-roofs, except for the techniques and materials used which are strictly contemporary - molded glass facades with sun screens on concrete structures. The extension has allowed the freeing all ground floor spaces which are totally used for daylight activities, restaurant, library, gatherings, etc. The upper floors house the bedrooms and health care spaces. The new building in its glittering glass block cladding has been softened inside by means of warm wooden flooring, wall paintings, as well as comfortable indirect lighting.
- Status: Built
- Location: Rueil Malmaison, France
- Date : 1999
- Surface Area: 6 000m 2
- Program: Extension and rehabilitation of a 102 room retirement home
- Cost of Construction : 50 000 000frf,
- Client: Fondation Cognac-Jay
- Project Manager: Didier Brault
- Architects: Beth Weinstein, Isabelle Agostini, Jean Philippe Godin, Michel Calzada, Olivier Davenier
- Engineers: GEC
- Security: CASSO