Explore the new technology hub of the Dunes Situated in the business district of Val de Fontenay, ten kilometres to the East of Paris, this complex houses the Société Générale’s new premises.
Designed and developed by the Anne Demians agency, this architectural ensemble was created as a living and working place in its own right. Inaugurated in September 2016 after more than 3 years of construction, it consists of five main structures linked together for an impressive total surface area of 120,000 square metres including offices, cafés, restaurants and shared living space.
A “new generation” universe
This visit will allow complete immersion in this next-generation world of the Société Générale. An area both hyperconnected and at the cutting edge of innovation, this technology hub brings an already global company into the digital age. Originally created in order to balance the Société Générale staff between the West and East of Paris, this new complex has allowed the emergence of new work methods and organisations. Indeed, the Dunes draw inspiration from the work organisations put into place in Silicon Valley starting in the year 2000. The implementation of flexible workspace for most of the employees based at the Dunes, which consists in eliminating nominative offices in favour of collective availability, is one of the key symbols of this reorganisation. In addition, the generalisation of open space areas has encouraged our employees to come together and create synergies between different teams and projects. These new concepts and their concrete applications within the technopole will be revealed to you during the visit.
Thanks to these innovation, the Dunes site has inspired a new way of working by empowering each employee. In addition, quality of life at work was a defining factor of the project as it allows work-related stress to be reduced during working hours, reinforcing the team spirit that connects the staff members. This visit, lasting approximately one hour, explores first of all the Valley, which constitutes the Dune’s main artery. The Valley connects all of the five main buildings of the complex and is the most important living space of the site. It harbours a string of restaurants and cafés, but also less formal areas such as a music booth, a games room and a siesta room. This is where most of the staff gathers during lunch breaks.
The visit continues with the office areas. Stretched out lengthways, these offices are very well-lit, as they benefit from glazed surfaces on all sides. This allows the optimisation of natural lighting and saves energy. All of the offices are standardised and an internal mechanism allows desk heights to be adjusted, enabling employees to adapt these workspaces to their needs. In between the offices are meeting rooms of variable size, with capacities of 2 to 24 employees. What’s more, the space available has been increased dramatically and is double that of the Société Générale premises in La Défense. A lot more space has been attributed to meeting rooms as this reflects the Société Générale’s new work organisation that prioritises a collaborative approach with regard to work relationships.
Lastly, visitors will explore the “Plateau”, the startup incubator described above. This area accommodates about twenty start-up companies for an average duration of six months. Each company is selected by the Société Générale to develop and carry out a project.
This programme, inaugurated three years ago, accommodates 6,000 employees and has become a top-tier technology park of international reach. In addition, this park stands out for pioneering in Europe the experimentation of new work organisations that were implemented in the United States in the 2000s. These new work methods have since become truly successful by improving wellbeing at work and increasing productivity and work optimisation. As a result, these practices are becoming more common in new business centres with, for example, the creation of a proportion of flex offices (20%) on the Société Générale premises at La Défense.