Paris Social Housing by ECDM



Paris architects ECDM have completed this 63-unit social housing development in Paris.


It is located between existing buildings, at the intersection of two streets.  A courtyard, hidden from the street, separates the building into two volumes connected by a basement car park.


The front facade is composed of coloured glass in different shades of green.


The text below is from the architects:


Collage Paris

Located at the intersection of the homogeneous and Haussmannian facades of Gossec Street, and of the disparate architecture built in stages on Picpus Street, the site for this 63-unit social housing program is part of a typical ‘collage-city’ landscape. It is characterized by two ground levels: at the front it connects to the steep slope of Picpus Street, and at the back it borders onto a landscape garden, 1.50 m higher than the average level of the soil. The project aims to link these opposite building typologies and ground levels.


Two buildings,  7 and 6 storeys high respectively, are aligned in parallel at the front and back (north and south) of the plot, and are lifted up on stilts.  The accommodation is concentrated on the street side which leaves a wide open space that reaches the landmark garden.


On Picpus Street, the project is connected to the truncated bow of the Haussmannian building at the angle of Gossec Street, as if the site was a corner plot. It prolongs the fixtures and the components of the architecture of the Gossec Street, proposing a sharp collage. On the east side, the project is aligned with the roof of the smooth facade of a building from the 70's, also continuing the fixture and the components of the adjacent building, marked by a withdrawal that completes the project.


Elevated above 2 parking levels, the ground floor slab appears like a mineral kaleidoscope, which dissolves the disabled access requirements in an opportunistic and playful mid-mineral mid-vegetation landscape. For each apartment or accommodation the exact prolongation of the kaleidoscope generates a free movement of the doors and windows, emphasized by their reflection in the stainless cladding of the ribbons and the ceilings.


One enters the residence through a metallic curtain by a wide porch at the axis of the project, and then each building has its own entrance hall. The common areas are generous, clear, without residual spaces and benefit from natural light.


The project presents 2 colours and 4 specific facades conceived to respond to very specific conditions, all characterized by wide windows, opening onto large terraces or balconies (depending on their orientation) and protected by coloured glass which is treated like sunglasses.


The project proposes the implementation of 64 houses developing a GFA of 4 126 square meters.


Sustainability requirements were emphasized for the conception of this social housing building. Standards for energy use were up to 30% stricter than legally binding standards in France at the time the building permit was delivered.















Posted on Thursday January 29th 2009 at 3:06 am by Rachael Sykes. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • maama

    looks fab+

  • SouL

    Lovely project…very well done!

  • Luxury Larry

    Are you serious? That’s a social housing? I am in the wrong side of the continet!!

    I like how they treated the elevation to compliment with old clasiscal architecture.

  • JDR

    amazing job on the facades and the integration is really good.

    This is nice!


  • I’m with Larry – I’m amazed that’s social housing, in London that’d be Luxury!

  • Trumbo

    It looks beautiful and chic, even if those untidy plan distributions would never get a degree from a serious old-schooll architecture university.

  • Beautiful? It looks like an office building from Soviet eastern Europe.

  • Daniel

    I actually like office buildings fron Soviet Eastern Europe :-)

  • modular

    I kind like this. At least on the outside. The inside is too terrible…

  • windbag

    The quality of the building in itself is fine, what it lacks is the dialogue with the pre-existent building at the corner.
    I think in this case this solution is highly disappointing and almost comical.

  • Gallego

    I am pretty sure, that there are ways how to connect old and modern, but this is NOT one of them… the cut between the stone and the glass/metal facade, that’s just disaster! not mentioning the underground-garage-like entrance…

    and Larry, better stay where you are.. wherever you are… maybe, if they didn’t have such chic social housing, they would work more and strike less to reach some better apartment…

  • famul

    Larry you are right. British building standards, not only for social housing, are extremly poor.
    Gallego, at least in France people have to balls to go outthere and being opinionated. They are not afraid to say what they think. French had been outspoke and thanks to them (French revolution) we live the way we live.
    In UK, NOBODY dares to do so. In London, prices are extremly high (not only housing), transport is terrible and economy is really desastrous. Why British don’t come out and say what they think? Big mistery.
    For the record, I am not French!

  • zetre

    That trainwreck connection is half the project too me.

    Also like the facade samples..

  • Gallego

    famul: to go outside, ruin everyone’s day and cry out loud “state, take care of me in every aspect of my life” is ‘having balls’? that’s quite a ‘desastrous’ way of thinking.. and if you (=the Britons) don’t like high prices, terrible transport and ruined economy, why the hey do you still vote for those leftist social engineers? do you think they’ll eventually learn how to not screw everything up?

    and to the standard of this housing project: can you imagine, how deadly expensive that must be? where do they take that money? not from the taxes they sucked off the market, so that the economy is worse off, more people is unemployed and needs social housing, hey?

  • windbag

    famul, we live the way we live DESPITE the French, their revolution
    and this Jekyll&Hyde project.

  • Sunspot Design

    oo la la
    it couldn’t happen in australia where the heritage fundamentalists are in control

  • Jay D

    i like it! not too sure on the use of the triangles in the courtyard though.

  • Kim

    Social Housing in France, especially inside Paris are mainly for priviledged people that are lucky to have contacts inside the welfare administration.
    There is a long list of people waiting to have the privilege of keeping for life these low rent housings, done by architects. Every body is a wining in this welfare system, except the poor:

    The architect is getting the moral and ethical publicity, the mayor is getting his quota, and behind his extra money from the builders, the bourgeoisie is getting low cost rent for their kids so they can finance their private school inside Paris.

    We call it System D, you call it French System…

  • MAD*arx

    very nice project, especially if you think on what social housing looks usually like on other countries…

  • nana

    pourquoi le vert et le rose?????????????????????????????