Advertising agency BETC is moving its Paris office. The new premises are distinctive: the Magasins Généraux building, which was opened by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the district of Pantin in 1931. The building closed in 2000 and over the intervening years has become a haven for local graffiti artists.
When BETC acquired the building, the agency decided to record the artworks created there before renovations began. “We were conscious of our duty to preserve as much as possible these thousands of artworks,” says BETC founder and global creative director Rémi Babinet.
The photographs here show the exterior of the building as well as individual works by graffiti artists including Itvan Kebadian and Sean Hart. A more detailed view of the building, and its interior, can also be found on the Graffiti Général website, which offers a 3D tour of the building.
The site gives detailed information on over 40 of the artworks within the building. Visitors can also add their own graffiti online, meaning that the history of the building can continue to evolve, albeit only virtually.
BETC will move into Magasins Généraux in 2016. The conversion of the building will be made by architect Frédérick Jung, who devised the renovation of the agency’s current building, in Gare de l’Est in the 10th arrondissement, back in 2000. A book of photographs by Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre documenting the site will be published in September 2014.
BETC was founded in 1995 and today has over 700 employees. Its headquarters in Paris handles over 70 clients, including Louis Vuitton, Peugeot, Air France, Evian, Canal+, Lacoste, and Disneyland. BETC opened BETC London in 2011.