Reopening of the European Space Agency's historic headquarters
Reopening of the European Space Agency's historic headquarters
© Pierre-François Mouriaux / Air & Cosmos

Reopening of the European Space Agency's historic headquarters

After five years of work, the renovated and expanded premises on rue Mario-Nikis in Paris reopened on March 22.

Two major objectives

On March 21, the press was invited to a tour of the " ESA HQ " (ESA Headquarters) of the European Space Agency, located on rue Mario-Nikis, in the 15 arrondissement of Paris, two steps away from Unesco and Les Invalides.

The building, which, before being purchased in 1976 by the ESA, housed a Thomson television tube manufacturing plant, has undergone major work in the last five years.

These had been decided for two main reasons : on the one hand, to remove asbestos from the premises, and on the other hand to expand them, so that they would be able to accommodate up to thirty delegations of the Agency.

The complex worksite represents a budget of 70 million euros.

It was notably led by the architectural firms Atelier du Pont (project architect) and Majorelle (interior architect), the developer Sogelym Dixence and Bouygues Bâtiment Ile-de-France - Rénovation Privée.


Three environmental labels

The new headquarters now spans 11 606 m2 and three buildings, the tallest of which has five floors and a terrace (overlooking the Eiffel Tower).

It can accommodate up to 330 employees on a daily basis, who will now work in open space, and up to 450 people in a 750 m2 conference center, which is modular (divisible into three independent rooms), equipped with an interpretation system in nine languages, and covered by an immense glass roof.

Near the conference center are 38 meeting rooms available to the Agency's delegations.

All in all, the ESA headquarters has 110 meeting rooms.

The building aims for energy sobriety (with a urine recycling system derived from the one used on board the International Space Station !), now includes vegetated spaces (300 m2), and has received three environmental labels : HQE Excellent, BREEAM Very Good, WELL Gold.


A center for the public in May

Early the day after the press visit, the renovated headquarters hosted the 315th ESA Council.

For their part, it is on April 11 that ESA's administrative and management teams will return to Mario-Nikis Street.

They had been transferred during the works to offices located on rue du Général Bertrand, also in the 15th arrondissement.

Finally, on May 10 will open at the ESA headquarters an information and documentation center accessible to the general public and schools, called Astrolabe Visitor Centre, which will be equipped with a store.

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