Residence à Epinay sur Seine by ECDM



French architects ECDM have completed a residence in Epinay-sur-Seine north of Paris that includes accommodation for students, university staff and women in distress.


The different wings of the complex are identified by vivid colour-coding, covering almost every surface.


Photographs are by Benoît Fougeirol.


See more Dezeen stories about ECDM architects:

Paris Social Housing
Thiais Bus Centre


Here's some text from ECDM:


The conception of our project joins in a second reading of the landscape of the road of Saint leu, by integrating its history and its transformations to assert the manners and the qualities and reveal the poetry of the place.


The project will have to play the role of revelation of a district in future, articulation of a split up territory, a synthesis of a town planning consisted of industrial and commercial buildings, detached flags of the last century, complexes and public equipments.


The stakes are to impose a politeness on a secondary road, to desynchronize the shelf space built by the rhythm of the automobile, to modify the perception of a landscape having undergone without having controlled it the transformation of its territory. The politeness is there, but very little legible; it is a question of making it the evident presence.


The project foresees the reception on the plot of land of three autonomous and additional programs: a residence for students of 150 housing for 170 residents, 19 housing for researchers or invited professors and housing for women in distresses.


The objective is to create some social coeducation while having for each of the establishments a management with human scale benefiting from synergies between establishments. So the project foresees guard's accommodation, private study rooms, laundry, space out relaxation internal and outer, gardens were fitted out with fruit trees.


In break with a territory which would be too dense to be really plant and too chaotic to be urban, the project reintroduces and prolong the morphology of the fragmented which structured the district, by four buildings of differentiated writings.


Joining the geometry everything in length of the plots of land of the district, built household of wide spaces of full végétalisée ground. In this urban logic, overlaps a geographical logic with a rational orientation of the east-west buildings and the facades protected from the noise pollutions of the voices shod and of the secondary road by effect of mask.


The constructions join the size of the district, in volumes developed on more packed R+2. The volumetrics of each of 4 buildings is specific to become integrated into its immediate environment, manage transitions with existing neighbouring. The global density of the plot of land will be about 1.25, density which seems to us rather strong to be carrier of politeness and rather weak to be able to assure a sewing with the adjoining suburban zone.


Federative element of an ill-assorted district, the project will be urban facade on the road of Saint leu in the North, to become more paysagé and coil up in the continuity of fragmented one suburban very structured in the South.


Project ownership: ESPACIL HABITAT

Project management: Emmanuel COMBAREL Dominique MARREC Architectes (ECDM)

Aliette CHAUCHAT, Chef de Projet

Project management  associed: BETOM, BET
Michel LARSONNEUR, Economiste

Programme: Amicale du Nid et Résidence étudiante


Surface: 9,000 m² HON

Cost of construction     9,041,000 € HT
Calendar (challenge and delivery date): Concours : janvier 2003 / Livraison : Décembre 08

Visual autors

Perspectives: ECDM©










Posted on Friday July 10th 2009 at 2:01 pm by Brad Turner. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • one

    Coool. cool…. Kind a mini Nouvel-esque…

  • like the look, but it does call to mind a day-glo detention center…

  • jos

    the use of different collors reminds me at underground parkings so you know at which stage you left your car, dont think you’ll notice the other collors ones you find out where you live.. and I even think you’ll might get tired of seeing always such dominant collor.. but for social living it’s still nice

  • Brad

    I’m not sure. It’s just a normal double loaded apartment strategy. The strategy is more decorative than architectural, no? All the clever materiality and application of color and (actually pretty sharp) detailing won’t likely make it much more humane or better urbanistically.

    Also, I’m not sure how “the project reintroduces and prolong the morphology of the fragmented which structured the district, by four buildings of differentiated writings.”

  • I like the look and the colors. Wish they added more larger glass windows to the apartments… it’d go nice with the colors and make it look far less like a cell block. Definitely creative though..

  • pierre

    women in distress? nice colours, interesting designs, some clever ideas but i would not want to live there….not for long though…which is not important in the buildings criteria. women is distress can’t be forever, students grow out of being a student, they come and go…. and teachers always gets transferred…..pity those who don’t.

  • steve

    Bet that the car park bollards (the black ones!!!) are no longer standing up… nice one! Some poor guy is wishing he didn’t drive that day.

  • Mike

    Please proofread the translated text before posting…it really doesn’t serve what otherwise looks like a good project with even better intentions, very well.