At the origin of each project, place meets use.

Origin is an architectural studio that accompanies the transformation of these places by creating projects that affirm their usefulness, durability and originality.

Our work consists in designing places to live, work and play, placing the environment and the users at the center of our reflection.

A collective and creative instinct allow us to imagine and shape tomorrow’s environments.

Tom Sheehan

« The sketch is the inevitable Architect’s tool of communication; it is to the point, time-proof and speaks all languages. Ask me any question but give me a pencil to answer. »
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Tom was born in San Francisco to an Architect father. His up-bringing in this fertile environment developed his imagination from an early age and produced in him the ambition to design tomorrow’s buildings. With the encouragement of his elder brother, also an architect, he enrolled at the Fontainebleau’s American School of Arts in 1985 and won the first prize, thus starting a long history with France. He began a permanent career in France in 1989. While employed by Aymeric Zubléna, Tom developed his interest in the design of sports buildings. He became the Design Architect of the Stade de France, a project that gave him the Silver Prize of the Académie d’Architecture of Paris. Having worked on many stadiums and sports complexes, he is now recognized as a specialist in the field and Tom is regularly invited to judge his peers’ work. A certain number of associations in France and abroad alike gave birth to internationally renowned projects such as the China Executive Leadership Academy in Pudong and the D2 Tower in La Défense, Paris, in association with Anthony Béchu. In 2005, Tom founded Atelier Tom Sheehan & Partenaires with Salah Saïdoune. The studio is devoted to designing places to live, work and entertain. It has delivered important sports complexes, remarkable offices, and vast social housing programs. Tom puts his heart into encouraging his teams and giving them the time and support necessary to excel. Every project the Atelier works on is important to him. He favors the human approach and makes sure each team member can develop his or her potential to the full. Tom is an inveterate scribbler and is famous for his remarkable sketchbooks.

Salah Eddine Saïdoune

“The best guarantee to have work tomorrow is to do your best work today.”
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Thanks to his father, Salah grew up immersed in the international cinematographic culture. A young head full of dreams gave him the wish and will to travel and meet different cultures and visit new horizons. He naturally became an emissary for his native Algeria. Later, becoming an Architect was his way to contribute to the crystallization of these different cultures and people through design. In architecture, like the making of a movie, every stone, every brick needs to sit perfectly in its context. Every detail must be in the right place so that the project unrolls naturally. Salah can be very demanding to himself and his teams to achieve this result. Ambitious and symbolic projects motivate him even more. He met a complimentary match in Tom Sheehan and in 2005 their friendship led to the creation of the Atelier Tom Sheehan & Partenaires. Since the beginning of the adventure, Salah has dedicated his time to developing export markets and spends a lot of time on sites around the world. He made the Ben Aknoun Arena a reality. This project is recognized as one of the finest sport landmark venue in Northern Africa. Very confident and discreet, he is a trusted person who makes himself available as much as needed. His acute sense of responsibilities and duties makes him appreciated by our clients, partners, and consultants.

Christian Bonnaud

« Each team member of the Atelier brings something unique to a project and does it enthusiastically. »
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Christian began studying as an engineer but quickly felt the need for a more creative expression. Architecture was the answer. During his career, he has had the privilege and pleasure of work on hundreds of projects of all nature. Whether big or small, local or abroad, new built or renovation he remains ingenious and captivated. His work points out the unique location, particular environment and specific culture that determine the identity of each project. Christian therefore pays attention to the site analysis and brief. Once this has been precisely studied, he can adjust a project to best integrate its unique environmental and human context. He quietly prides himself in a job well done and a project well delivered while taking all the necessary care to achieve this result. Christian joined Atelier Tom Sheehan & Partenaires in 2005 as partner to take charge of the execution of the Oran and East-Algiers Stadia projects. The technical and functional constraints where very complex in these projects and he was ready to take up the challenge. Christian is a catalyst for creating teamwork and has fully earned the respect of the staff as senior architect.

Mehdi Boulkroun

« The project process is born at the meeting of these two worlds, an oscillation between the common and the sensitive, the rational and the emotional. »
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A graduate of the Polytechnic Architecture and Urbanism School of Algiers and the Paris La Villette School of Architecture, Mehdi joined the agency in 2012 and became a partner in 2019. He participates in various sports, institutional, and tertiary projects. He managed operations in association with C. De Portzamparc, Populous, or even HKS. Its contribution upstream of projects provides a strategic look at the agency's working methods and its production, both on formal issues and on basic social or environmental concerns.



Our creative process often starts with the same question: Which program for which place?


The analysis of these two bodies of information constitutes a basis for work and discussion. Any project then begins with their respective investigation as well as their potential encounters.
On the one hand, the site. It is essential for us to understand its history, its present and future administrative context, its geography, geology, climate, flora and fauna, etc. we never begin a project without an understanding of where it is located.

On the other hand, the program combines the client’s or users’ ambitions and challenges, theirs needs and desires. The program provides objectives of cost, planning and quality.

A project is a formal conjugation of a place and a utilization and should offer a unique experience as well as impart a memorable architectural identity. We strive to create useful buildings which have a positive impact on the territory to which it belongs.


Sketch, models and narratives dialogues are the first concrete representations of the project, destined to evolve, they are essential tools of creation. Often the simpler they are the stronger they resume and represent goals and objectives of the program and place.


These simple tools are a way of communicating between ourselves and with our partners. The sketch is a form of architectural discussion, a universal language of debate. Architecture reposes on all our senses, but it is more often than not that our eyes decide on how to proceed.

The conceptual representation of a project functions when it sublimates the complexity of the two bodies of information it seeks to conjugate.

Digital tools and 3D BIM models allow us to develop our concepts, making them more tangible and real. They evolve in detail over the course of our exchanges with our partners until they prefigure the final project. In short, the 3D model is the direct translation of our collaborative work.


Each project has a story, written in detail, they become unique places and buildings.


The choice of materials and details, as well as the contractors and artisans that build them, represent the last link in the chain of thought that connects the original ideas to the final product. A project is carried out by the quality and continuity of its actors.

Our project teams follow their work from end to end, they are reinforced at key moments and are present for the final delivery to their owners and users.


The Team

In 2019 Origin left the 13th arrondissement and moved to the heart of the Montparnasse district. 2 impasse Lebouis is a five-story building at the end of a small cul-de-sac that long housed the Henri Cartier-Bresson foundation. Built in 1913, this small historical monument listed building was one of the first buildings by architect Emile Molinié (1877-1964) and was originally a design studio of theatre decor. Located at the rear of a richly decorated corner building, the building has a glass facade topped by a glass roof, cascading over the top three levels organized in a succession of mezzanines.

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At Origin, collaboration is essential, workshops and discussion are an integral part of the life of the studio. We promote our talented individuals, whose ambitions are important to us. We are committed to providing opportunities to develop their experience and skills as we believe that a personnel agenda contributes to the success of our collective gain.

In the studio, we work in teams, following each project from start to finish. New teams are reconstituted for each project in order to enrich relations between actors. Paris is an extremely rich and unique city of talent and experience in which our studio has greatly benefited. The metropolis draws talents from around the world which is clearly visible int the cultural diversity of our staff.

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We appreciate moments of conviviality. Our weekly office FORUM brings us all together to share around our current projects, organizational topic and news. It is an important moment where everyone offers their input. It has been particularly helpful over the past year that found many of us working remotely. This collaborative spirit has both been beneficial to our work as well as the personal growth of our staff.

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