FNSEA project, carried out by Isospace.

Who hasn't imagined strolling through the corridors of their offices, beautifully laid out around mouldings, a solid floor, a fireplace and enjoying the sun's rays on a sloping balcony?   

Many people dream of renovating Haussmann-style offices and this can be done quickly. But when it comes to the technical part of the renovation (air conditioning, electricity, painting, flooring, etc.) everything is more complex. 

Except in cases where the "denatured" aspect is a will of the customer (as in the case of our realization at Flex Mind), it is necessary to avoid as much as possible to reduce the character which characterizes the Haussmannian building. 

In this article, Isospace, general contractor in office fitting out, explains to you which are the points not to underestimate in the renovation of Haussmannian premises. Let's get started! 

Ceilings

Haussmannian ceilings can be recognised by their roses, cornices and mouldings. These wooden or plaster ornaments are generally placed along the walls, at the corners or in the centre of the ceilings. 

When renovating a building of this type, the installation of new electrical and/or air-conditioning networks generally goes through the "top", i.e. the ceiling. It is therefore necessary to think about this integration beforehand and find solutions to avoid distorting the architectural elements that characterise a Haussmannian flat.

One of the most commonly used techniques is the pricking technique. This involves pricking under the cornice, moulding or rose window in order to cut a deep passage behind the ornament in question. In the case of a rose window, it is also possible to go through the light point to make the passage. 

This is a delicate and meticulous operation that must be entrusted to a professional if you do not want to end up with a ceiling disaster! 

In some cases, the mouldings need to be repainted to create a new world in the space or to give it a new look. However, before embarking on the refreshment of these ornaments, it is important to be equipped so as not to miss out! 

For a flat surface, a simple roller will do. But for all mouldings, it is necessary to use a brush and to be as meticulous as possible in order to reach the smallest corners of the ornaments. 

The walls

In the case of the renovation of a Haussmannian flat, the electrical network can also be built into the walls. Here again, the challenge is not to alter the elements in order to maintain the character of the space. 

The most appropriate technique for making the electrical installation on the wall invisible is the bleed. 

The principle is simple: a milling cutter makes a groove (an opening in the wall) which is then covered with plaster to hide the electrical installation. 

If it is necessary to install a socket block or air-conditioning near the floor, the groove can also go behind the sub-basement, so as not to damage this element present in most Haussmann flats. 

FNSEA meeting room, project carried out by Isospace

Just like the mouldings, the sub-frames should be painted with a brush! 

It is also possible to integrate movable partitions into a Haussmannian space in order to add a modern touch that will contrast perfectly with the old character of the place.

For even more modernity and luminosity, you can opt for a transparent partition that will hide the sound and partition the space while letting the light through!

The little extra? We can accompany you in this project and guarantee you an installation that will in no way distort the mouldings and ornaments visible in your spaces.

Work and installation of a partition in Haussmann offices in Paris, carried out by Isospace

Soils

The solution is therefore to remove a floorboard in order to make a switch. This solution, combined with a groove in the walls, makes it possible to install the entire electrical network by passing it through the walls or under the floor without damaging the architectural elements. These solutions therefore guarantee optimal fluid flow while preserving the premises. 

It may happen during the work that some elements are damaged (mainly the rosettes or the parquet). For rosettes, staff can be a solution. A mixture of plaster and fibres, a moulding and a re-installation later: the job is done! Less authentic, of course, but the result is guaranteed! 

In the case of parquet, renovation is a little more complex ... In fact, it all depends on the level of deterioration:  

  • If the parquet floor is only damaged on the surface: sanding and sealing later, the job is done!  
  • If the floor is badly damaged: find the same type of plank from an oak manufacturer or have it custom-made to replace the damaged planks. 

After installation of the new boards, it is necessary again to sand all the parquet and to varnish it! The renovation of a damaged parquet floor is a delicate operation in which Isospace can obviously accompany you. 

The solution is therefore to remove a floorboard in order to make a switch. 

This solution, combined with a groove in the wall, allows the complete installation of the electrical network to be carried out through the walls or under the floor without damaging the architectural elements.

These solutions therefore guarantee an optimal flow of fluid while preserving the premises. 

It can happen that during the work some elements (mainly the rosettes) are damaged. In this case, staff can be a solution. A mixture of plaster and fibre, a moulding and a reinstallation later: the job is done! Less authentic, but a guaranteed result! 

The exceptions  

Some clients may wish to modernise their Haussmann-style offices by deliberately "distorting" certain architectural elements.

This is the case of Flexmind, a software integrator, which did not want to conceal the air conditioning and electrical fluids in its offices, thus creating an "industrial Haussmann style".

Flexmind offices, project carried out by Isospace
Flexmind offices, project carried out by Isospace
Flexmind offices, project carried out by Isospace

How to improve the acoustic performance of a Haussmann office? 

With its high ceiling and parquet flooring, the Haussmann office is not a very good student in terms of noise absorption.  

Working there can therefore become an ordeal for your employees if you don't treat your premises with care. 

There are several options available to you: 

  • Installing acoustic panels on the walls or ceiling will make your space more modern and break with the Haussmannian style
FNSEA meeting room, project carried out by Isospace
FNSEA meeting room, project carried out by Isospace
  • Replace a very damaged and irrecoverable parquet floor with a parquet-style covering but in Liberty PVC and combine it with an acoustic underlay) 
  • Place absorbent partitions on desks