Are today’s vacant offices tomorrow’s homes?

Could the current health crisis be an unprecedented accelerator to the reconversion of buildings?


With the widespread adoption of remote working over the past year, the future of office stock is called into question. Paris is pursuing frugal and responsible urbanism – with transformations, evolutions, conversions and reversions – to improve and do more with existing buildings. Through its 3rd Reinventing Paris architectural consultation, the ecological and economic aspects of reversibility are explored. Approximately 700,000 sq. m of offices have been converted since 2001. In 2020, the fall in office demand for the years ahead was estimated at 20%. It is now time to intensify the pace of conversions. So is this a crisis or an opportunity for an effective response to the shortage of low-cost housing in some districts of the capital? The Paris&Co’s urban innovation platform showcases, from the initial call for projects to the implementation of practical solutions, 4 of these projects that it supports which are doing remarkable work to convert existing buildings using both innovative and inclusive solutions: Lab14, Caracol, UnityCube and FlatnYou.


Following the model of Clichy-Batignolles eco-district, the housing units will be required ambitious environmental standards:

©Emilie Chaix/Ville de Paris

Previously municipal shower baths, these student apartments have been converted in Paris:

©Emilie Chaix/Ville de Paris

Find out more