This town house is a jewel in the heart of Paris’s 7th arrondissement that the teams at Swiss Life Asset Managers France restructured. Acquired as a “blank slate” for its client MAIF in 2018 and located at 15-17 rue Monsieur, the building is a unique property steeped in history.

uilt in the 19th century by Jacques-Paul Lequeux, an architect from Paris’s École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, the town house, which is now known as MUSE, is a major historical landmark. Located at 15-17 rue Monsieur in the 7th arrondissement, this 2180 m2 complex has a garden with approximately 1000 m2 of space, and is notable, in part, for its history and its heritage.

The teams at Swiss Life Asset Managers France were attracted by the potential presented by this town house, which was acquired as a “blank slate” on behalf of their client MAIF from La Financière Saint-James. The renovation of MUSE was entrusted to Les Nouveaux Constructeurs as part of a real estate development contract. Swiss Life Asset Managers France concluded this ambitious renovation by signing a 12-year lease with luxury group Kering.

The face of tomorrow’s offices

Work on the renovation and reconfiguration of the property started at the beginning of 2019, and was completed in November 2020. Very large and in need a lot of work by the teams at Swiss Life Asset Managers France, the existing property was improved while taking account of SRI requirements and the aspirations of Swiss Life Asset Managers France.

The restructuring project was guided by a two-fold challenge: to preserve the property’s heritage while also adapting the buildings to modern office standards. The architectural ambition was to restore the configuration of the original building as it was in 1891.

Several extensions, including an old library, were removed to return the building to its classical configuration as a town house. An abandoned garden in the town house’s courtyard has been restored and redesigned in the style of a traditional French garden. The teams at Swiss Life Asset Managers France sought to enhance the property in order to make it a modern and attractive workplace for future employees.

An exemplary ESG project

From an environmental and social perspective, the main challenge was to optimise the property’s environmental performance as well as the level of comfort for future occupants (acoustics, green spaces, comfort in summer), while preserving the historic building shell and without altering its significant architectural quality. And, in particular, by providing access to soft mobility (addition of a bicycle room), landscaping of green spaces, including garden, to preserve biodiversity and offer future occupants an oasis of nature.

MUSE has received the WiredScore label and is aiming for the HQE Renovation Excellent and Breeam Renovation Very Good certifications, which are optimally aligned with the responsible investment approach of Swiss Life Asset Managers and MAIF.

This project demonstrates the ability of Swiss Life Asset Managers France not only to position itself in terms of exceptional properties, but also to secure a lease to the property before delivery by making use of all of its asset management skills and the entire value chain.

“We are very proud of this achievement. We wanted to preserve the property’s historic value while adapting it to contemporary uses. This project illustrates our convictions: the functional organisation of the space, its modularity, the importance given to natural light sources as well as energy efficiency are the advantages of tomorrow’s offices,” says Fabrice Lombardo, Head of Real Estate Operations at Swiss Life Asset Managers France.