160 Basement is a minimal space located in Paris, France, designed by studio cent soixante in collaboration with DEVARRIEUXMELLET. In the heart of Paris’s thriving tech district lies 160 Basement, an avant-garde subterranean workspace brought to life by a fusion of creative forces: the architectural prowess of DEVARRIEUX MELLET and the visionary design approach of studio cent soixante. Drawing inspiration from the notion of a “war room,” this unique space stands as a testament to the power of strategic collaboration and innovation. Nestled within the rich historical tapestry of the City of Lights, 160 Basement pays tribute to Paris’s storied past by preserving and rejuvenating the ancient stone walls that define the city’s foundational landscape.
These storied walls are skillfully contrasted with contemporary, industrial features, such as a sleek concrete slab and an expanded metal mesh ceiling. This ceiling not only imparts a soft, diffused luminescence but also accentuates the minimalistic and raw aesthetic that pervades the workspace. Given its subterranean setting, the workspace faces distinct design challenges, including an absence of natural light and a disconnection from the world above. In a masterful stroke, the designers have integrated various design elements that evoke the sensation of being above ground, forging a more inviting and comfortable atmosphere. One standout component is the employment of lush green velvet curtains on rails, which serve a dual purpose.
Not only do they infuse warmth and softness into the mineral color palette, but they also conjure a captivating theatrical effect. By mimicking the presence of windows, the curtains counteract the sense of confinement often linked to underground spaces, fostering a heightened connection with the outside world. At the core of this subterranean oasis is the kitchenette island, assembled from robust beech plywood and crowned with a matte black countertop. This central locus encourages informal collaboration and camaraderie among its occupants. Ingeniously repurposed from the metal mesh structure, the overhead lighting element both highlights the space’s versatility and underscores the harmonious marriage of form and function that defines 160 Basement.
Photography by Gabriel Morisson