France's Department of Defence headquarters features an origami-like metal roof Architecture firm ANMA has completed a new Paris headquartersfor France's Department of Defence, featuring a faceted roofscape that extends to the ground around the entrance (+ slideshow). The Hexagone Balard building is located on a large plot next to the main ring road in Paris's 15th arrondissement. It was designed by Agence Nicolas Michelin & Associés – also known as ANMA – to accommodate almost 10,000 staff across a floor area of 165,000 square metres. A key objective of the project was to bring together members of staff representing the army, navy and air force. Intended as "city within a city", the building also houses public and semi-public spaces including a health centre, nurseries and a swimming pool. The project is separated into three parts, with an area on the eastern edge of the plot occupied by refurbished structures that were integrated into the masterplan, while a new structure to the west contains offices and shops. At the centre of the site is a hexagonal void surrounded by offices for the highest ranking officials and operational divisions. Adjacent to this is a protected historic building that was restored and repurposed. The elevations visible from the adjacent streets feature sheer facades clad in panels of white ceramic and etched glass that incorporate bands of windows. The resulting stratified aesthetic is intended to lend the structure a serene yet robust presence, and the materials used prevent anyone from seeing inside. "The building is oxymoronic; both sovereign and discreet," said a statement from ANMA, which was also behind a housing development in Bordeaux with a saw-toothed roof and a glazed atrium.