Alexandra Corric is convinced of it. Despite the health crisis, offices have a bright future! In fact, commercial real estate seems to have taken on new colors with 15.8 billion euros invested in 2021. However, warns the creator of the architecture agency Archmage, “we must now systematically design surfaces with flexibility in mind. Because we no longer have the assurance that the development will be sustainable the following year”.
For the time being, companies seeking to bring their employees back within their walls are reshaping to be more attractive, “with varied workspaces that are occupied at different times depending on the needs of the day”, continues Alexandra Corrick.
One million square meters of office space
This Parisian knows what she is talking about. His agency, at the origin of more than a million square meters of offices, no longer counts the achievements. And chained the prices.
Among his latest projects? The 16,000 square meters of the Galeries Lafayette headquarters. In the past, she has also redesigned the work environments of Danone, SFR and Air France… “At Pernod Ricard, we have installed seven bars! laughs this boss, convinced that an office says a lot about the spirit that reigns in a company, even about the expectations of leaders vis-à-vis their employees.
This daughter of a teacher and an engineer at IBM, herself a mother of three daughters, was hired by an agency as soon as she left the Beaux-Arts in 1988. Her first job was to preaching to customers the benefits of CAD, which was just emerging.
“At the time, architecture was a male profession and rather misogynistic,” she observes, emphasizing that 90% of the 50 employees of Archimage are women. She was fired manu militari from her first job after refusing, she says, to give in to her boss’s advances. “It’s an experience you won’t forget and definitely equips you for the future. Maybe I should thank him…” she quips, frankly, jovially.
Her former clients were quick to contact her again to entrust her with work. Rewarded by this confidence, she set up her business in 1990. “In the meantime, I worked with Bernard Tschumi on the Parc de la Villette. He was very pedagogical, generous, and, despite his incredible drawing skills, he immediately believed in CAD and pushed me to open my own practice,” she recalls.
A “fairly macho” sector
For Alexandra Corric, a project is above all linked to encounters. The result is the fruit of a sharing. An approach that perhaps comes from these fragments of childhood spent in the family home in the Corsican hinterland. “We lived two months barefoot, in a house without water, with the toilets in the maquis. And we played cards with the ‘pimp’ of the village always in white suit, she remembers.
After holidays like this, you adapt to a lot of situations, and you don’t turn princess”. And Vincent Dubois, its general manager, summarizes: “Alexandra has a strong and spontaneous character. She held off many competitors in a fairly macho sector.
“She continues to amaze me every day,” he continues. She has a sharp sense of personality, does not make mistakes when recruiting, is protective of her teams. But very attached to her warning signal, she can be quite bloody with people she doesn’t feel.
A fan of dance, classical music, skiing and reading, Alexandra Corric is above all thrilled by the thrill that rises in the towers when, during a random discussion, someone confides in her their sincere joy at working in offices that Archimage imagined. It is for her the most beautiful form of success.