Artist workshop

François Roche architect
Paris (75)

350 m²
1 bedroom
2 bathrooms


Commissioned by a contemporary art collector, this white cube was designed as a showcase for his works and as a work of art in itself. Iconoclastic architect François Roche came up with an innovative serpentine structure known as “snake”, a non-standard form of architecture that reflects his work.

This 350 m² space is both an exhibition area and a home. The kitchen, bathroom, shower room and bedroom are spread around and inside the serpentine structure, while the owner’s collection is displayed on the walls of this vast volume. In addition, there is a large storage area of more than 100 m², enabling works to be conserved in the best possible conditions. A courtyard completes this exceptional ensemble.

Located in the 10e arrondissement, this extraordinary property is in a very lively area, between the Gare de l’Est station and the Grands Boulevards.

Generous, spacious living areas

This vast space is housed in an old brick industrial building. The unusual architecture of this place plays on the fantastic. Its ghostly white spaces, lit by a zenithal glass roof, are clad in works of art. Made of a metal mesh covered in plaster, its innovative shape – the “snake” – sets the scene for the space through an architectural journey: it marks the entrance to the white cube and at its end forms a viewpoint over the site and its owner’s collection.

François Roche

After graduating from the Versailles School of Architecture in 1987, François Roche joined forces with Stéphanie Lavaux in 1990 to set up the R&Sie(n) agency. Envisaged as a critical production tool, R&Sie(n) explores contemporary themes such as hybridisation, genetic mutations, morphing and hyperlocalism. The architect questions the principles on which 20th-century architecture was founded.

Widely publicised in the architectural press, François Roche’s thinking and architecture have also been exhibited on numerous occasions, including “Quarante architectes de moins de quarante ans” (1990, Institut français d’architecture), “La Beauté” (Avignon), “Archilab 03” (2001, Orléans), “I’ve heard about – A flat, fat, growing urban experiment” (2005, Couvent des Cordeliers, Paris) and the Venice Biennale. His international success has also enabled him to teach at leading universities such as Harvard, Columbia and UCLA.

The R&Sie(n) agency has designed a number of houses, including the Spidernethewood house in Nîmes, where the nets spread out like a spider’s web in the vegetation, and Ami Barak’s house, built in 2000 in Sommières, which is covered in green tarpaulin to blend in with nature and protect the house from the climate. François Roche has also designed exhibition spaces such as the Art Front Gallery in Tokamashi, an exhibition space in a car park that opens up and undulates, and his agency is currently working on the Bangkok Museum of Contemporary Art.

François Roche, whose work was featured in the exhibition Architectures non standard at the Centre Pompidou in 2004, has used new technologies to renew the codes and forms of contemporary architecture, as in the innovative form of the ” snake “. The curves suspended in this cubic volume are an iconic work of François Roche’s architecture, which seeks ” complexity, ambiguity, new things and the zero degree of quotation “.

Additional information


François Roche


Paris 10ème