M Building by Stephane Maupin

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M Building by Stephane Maupin

Shiny corrugated metal clads the two cascading stacks of apartments that make up this block in Paris by architect Stephane Maupin.

M Building by Stephane Maupin

The two symmetrical sides of the M Building slope down at 45-degree angles towards a small central courtyard.

M Building by Stephane Maupin

Some of the 20 apartments have gabled roofs, while some open onto balconies that face one another rather than the neighbouring school and adjacent cemetery.

M Building by Stephane Maupin

You may also want to take a look at another housing block in Paris we recently featured, or see all our stories about France here.

Photography is by Cecile Septet.

Here's some more information from the architects:


The project takes place in the north Pierre Rebiere Street is a 600 meters long and 25 meters wide straight line.

M Building by Stephane Maupin

It is surrounded by the Batignoles’ cemetery on one side and by the back entrance of the international high school Honoré de Balzac on the other. The transformation of this narrow abandoned street allows the establishment of whole string of new buildings.

M Building by Stephane Maupin

The local rules for urbanism and the scope statements associated to this neighborhood minimizes plastic expressions. As a result it is not allowed to open any views on the cemetery. Thus directly implying a blind front for the future building and making it impossible to have normal front to front flats. The project impressively manages to get around those constraints: each of the flat benefits from both multiple sights and light sources at any time of day and year.

M Building by Stephane Maupin

This climatic mechanism suggested the shape of the building.

M Building by Stephane Maupin

Those solar templates sculpted internal slopes getting to the very heart of the construction. The 45° symmetrical slopes establish a triangular quadrant relieving the whole block from its compactness. As a result a central void appears where the dwellers can share a continually illuminated unique space. Hence as the light hits one side in the morning the opposite side will benefit from it in the afternoon.

M Building by Stephane Maupin

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The shape of this new space is favorable to the composition of an unusual landscape.
It is made from a cascade of Parisian roofs with its respective proportions and rhythm, as well as its apparent disorder. The whole is included in a succession of terraces which represent genuine extra room for the flats. Those terraces are so wide and comfortable that they become like private suspended gardens. In modern Babylonia, the Parisian Barbie rediscovers the joys of barbecue in the open air.

M Building by Stephane Maupin

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The staging withdraws itself from the urban stranglehold.

M Building by Stephane Maupin

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By refusing the frontal facing towards the street, the building creates a residential intimacy. The residents can communicate freely and develop the relations they desire. The unique vis-à-vis brings the dwellers together. Each resident is within reach of the other and that, without any road to cross. The building works as an inside village, within the town but still open towards the others.

M Building by Stephane Maupin

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Materials contribute to the staging of this unique ship. The body of the building is treated as a white hull. The homogeneous coating on the street fronts creates a casual relation to the rest of the agglomeration. The inside is a metallic and shining sheathing. The flats are revealed in a play of light and reflect. The building even possesses a central space dedicated to sharing.

M Building by Stephane Maupin

Click above for larger image

Once the hall crossed, a simple staircase brings to an inside square at the heart of the building. The setting here is sympathetic. We wander on a wooden deck. We are surrounded by flowers and trees. Our sight gets lost in the foliage of the great neighboring trees.

M Building by Stephane Maupin

Click above for larger image

Client: Paris Habitat
Team: SM
Project: 20 housings
Location: Rue Rebière, Paris
Date: January 2012
Surface: 1800m²
Cost: 2 500 000 €

  • Fistule

    Maupin is producing a terrible architecture. Trying to use every materials so as to give a new interpretation of those, he just end doing worst than the every things. What is this step between inside and outside? What is this terrible heavily varnished flooring, handrail, etc.?
    First learn to do proper stuff. Then start playing with it.
    Never go directly to the second point.

    • fistouille

      thx master yoda…

  • Catrina Stewart

    I think this looks brilliant! We need more architects like Maupin, creating imaginative, well designed and playful buildings. Great Stuff.

  • http://dailygrail.com/ Red Pill Junkie

    First thought after looking 1st pic was: Shiny favela!

  • Tony

    Fistule, that sounds quite elitist and narrow-minded. If we are in need of something today, it is more village-metaphors rather than another smooth line in some over-comfortable sculpture. This probably not on the highest budget either. Inspiring work!

  • STEVE

    so bad! NO PRIVACY AT ALL!! the triangle in section should of been the opposite!

  • Bruno

    Dear Fistule, your opinion sounds more like a personal vendetta then a honest opinion ?

    • Fistule

      No. (There are better things to fight for). I am French and think it is such a pity that most of the published French stuff are quite bad. Got depressed. Sorry

  • turtle

    Great concept. Too much metal. Lacks warmth.

    • josh

      not on a sunny day it won't

  • Albaro Recoba

    Beautiful and on a medium-ish budget (1400euros/sqm). Reminds me of Lacaton + Vassal. Privacy on the street facade, and a community feel to the decks – it's nice. Perhaps people that live here might want that, most flats as so private you barely see a soul. Cleverly working round the constraints, like it!

  • capslock

    this looks disgusting. could have been quite nice with a different choice of material outside. It looks like a trashcan or quick adhoc construction.
    Sometimes i wish that architects would just resolve a project with the actual occupants at the front of their priority list rather than going for the 'hey look at me i designed this' factor

  • goinggoinggone

    wow look at the last photo. imagine having corrugated steel as your view everyday. What an eyesore! the glare from the sun would drive you crazy!

  • Domilly

    Albaro makes a really good point – the balconies and courtyard spaces appear to have been built over time/have a haphazard urban feel which looks like it would promote community interaction.
    Capslock in what way could this look disgusting?

    The concept of a plain wall to the street and opening up on the inside seems like an obvious and logical approach. Lucky french!

  • Elsa Fredenham

    I can’t believe this project is 25 metres wide and 600 metres long! It should be quite large if it was 600 metres long. And if one makes an error, all other articles on the internet about the same topic copy the error.