The glass roof of the central branch has been restored to its former splendour

Published on 16/02/2024
The glass roof of the Central Branch has been restored to its former splendour

Societe Generale values its architectural heritage full of history

Featuring Art Nouveau elements, the Societe Generale head office, located in the heart of Paris at 29 boulevard Haussmann, is an architectural masterpiece designed at the turn of the 20th century by the architect Jacques Hermant. Its glass roof, created by master stained-glass artist Jacques Galland and listed in the Inventaire Supplémentaire des Monuments Historiques (French Supplementary List of Historic Monuments) is one of the building's key features and has just been undergone a renovation. Real architectural and technical challenge, but also a human one, this major project was a source of great pride for all the teams who have contributed to this achievement.

Photo credit: @vuedici

An ambitious project of colossal proportions

Endow with a dome measuring almost 18 metres in diameter and 27 metres high, the glass roofs is one of the largest in Paris. This renovation, started in 2022, on the lower sections, arches and medallions, completes the restoration work lunched in 2011. During this new and final phase, more than 1,350 panels were renovated, representing around 1,250 square metres of stained glass. 

This ambitious project was completed in three and a half years (two years of studies and one and a half years of restoration work) thanks to the help of companies with highly specific skills: a heritage architect qualified to work on historic monuments, exceptional craftsmen, a team of master glaziers, of rope access technicians and of electricians.

A methodical and timeless organisation

The excellence of this project lies in the exemplary organization demonstrated by the teams. Also, each panel of the glass roof was methodically removed with the help of a team of rope access technicians to be taken to the workshop, where it was dismantled, cleaned, repaired (if necessary), repainted and then reassembled by the glass craftsmen, before being re-installed on site. At the same time, the structure of the glass roof was completely cleaned. All the on-site work was carried out overnight, to reopen every morning the branch to employees and customers. This was a major challenge!

This exceptional heritage in the heart of Paris has now been restored to its former splendour, and staff and customers alike will be able to continue to marvel at this majestic glass roof, a witness to the history of the Societe Generale group, for many years to come. No one would even know it existed before entering 29 boulevard Haussmann!

Watch a behind-the-scenes video of this exceptional project, as told by those who made this stunning renovation possible.