Social housing by Vous Êtes Ici Architectes
slots between buildings in Paris

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Bold orange windows punctuate the wooden facades of this angular apartment block that French studio Vous Êtes Ici Architectes has slotted between the existing buildings of a south Paris neighbourhood (+ movie).

Social housing by Vous Êtes Ici Architectes slots between buildings in Paris

The six-storey building was designed by Vous Êtes Ici Architectes to provide 11 social housing units beside a school in the 5th Arrondissement of the French capital, on a site previously occupied by a low-rise warehouse.

Social housing by Vous Êtes Ici Architectes slots between buildings in Paris

Rather than building across the entire site, the architects developed an irregularly shaped block that follows the rhythms of the surrounding architecture and frames a pair of gardens at the north and south-east edges.

Social housing by Vous Êtes Ici Architectes slots between buildings in Paris

These gardens also line up with the main road and pedestrian pathway that frame two edges of the site, helping to the reduce the visual impact of the structure.

Social housing by Vous Êtes Ici Architectes slots between buildings in Paris

"The building is set back from the street, allowing the sunlight to reach the school courtyard set across the street," explained studio founders Alexandre Becker, Paul Pflughaupt and Julien Paulré. "This setup allows respiration and gives space back to the pedestrian passage."

Social housing by Vous Êtes Ici Architectes slots between buildings in Paris

While some of the building's walls are clad with timber planks, others are covered with pre-weathered zinc. At ground level, there are also walls of dark brickwork, which demarcate entrances.

Social housing by Vous Êtes Ici Architectes slots between buildings in Paris

Windows with orange frames add colour to the elevations. This feature is echoed in the building's stairwells and corridors, where walls, floors and railings are uniformly painted in the same hue.

Social housing by Vous Êtes Ici Architectes slots between buildings in Paris

No more than three apartments are located on each floor and the angular shapes of the building give each home a non-standard shape.

Social housing by Vous Êtes Ici Architectes slots between buildings in Paris

"The created volumes allow different typologies for the apartments as well as creating views for all," said the architects.

Social housing by Vous Êtes Ici Architectes slots between buildings in Paris

South-facing loggias allow apartments to benefit from sunlight during the peak of the day.

Social housing by Vous Êtes Ici Architectes slots between buildings in Paris

Graphic logos adorn doors to direct residents to bicycle storage and bin stores, while a grassy terrace is located on the roof.

Social housing by Vous Êtes Ici Architectes slots between buildings in Paris

Photography is by 11H45.

Here's a project description from the architects:


Logements Sociaux Paris 75005

Located in the Mouffetard area, Latin Quarter of Paris, our project aims to de-densify the heart of the city block in which it is located.

Social housing by Vous Êtes Ici Architectes slots between buildings in Paris

The building is set back from the street allowing the sunlight to reach the school courtyard set across the street. This setup allows respiration and gives space back to the pedestrian passage. The roof line is continuous and guaranties the continuity of the facades over the street. The set up on the plot is effective, the street is no longer only functional it has become sumptuous.

Social housing by Vous Êtes Ici Architectes slots between buildings in Paris

The construction is a unique volume that has been hollowed out. The recesses generate a course. They punctuate and follow our movements. The created volumes allow different typologies for the apartments as well as creating views for all. The project is more an architectural device than a sculpture.

Social housing by Vous Êtes Ici Architectes slots between buildings in Paris

The primary concrete structure supports wooden based facades. The envelope is of pre-aged zinc and wooden openwork cladding. The hall, stairs and landings are set up in a unique volume that has no partitions; the different levels are visually linked. Perambulation is naturally illuminated in the common spaces. Apartments have from two to three orientations. Hollow construction elements were refused. The apartments are luxurious.

Social housing by Vous Êtes Ici Architectes slots between buildings in Paris

A compact building, a well-insulated wooden structure, solar panels, double glazing windows, a planted roof terrace and loggias with a southern exposure allow us to respect the requirements of Paris's Climate Plan and to reduce the ecological impact of the building. It is architecture of an efficient nature.

Social housing by Vous Êtes Ici Architectes slots between buildings in Paris

Developer: ELOGIE
Architects: Vous Êtes Ici Architectes (A. Becker, J. Paulré, P. Pflughaupt)
General contractor: Fayolle & Fils
Technical engineering: FACEA
Economist: BMA
Environment engineering: ICADE

Social housing by Vous Êtes Ici Architectes slots between buildings in Paris
Site plan - click for larger image
Social housing by Vous Êtes Ici Architectes slots between buildings in Paris
Floor plan - click for larger image
Social housing by Vous Êtes Ici Architectes slots between buildings in Paris
Section - click for larger image
Social housing by Vous Êtes Ici Architectes slots between buildings in Paris
North elevation - click for larger image
  • Paramount Interiors

    These social housing buildings are a brilliant idea. Not only does it allow social housing buildings to blend in with existing building, but the insides are bright and stylish.

  • Puzzello

    Love this project, wish it was in my city.

  • Mark Hinchcliff

    Fits its context perfectly, yet makes a modern statement. So many thoughtful details!

    • Vanessa

      Lol. What?

  • Keiron

    I like the design, but social housing? I wish my flat, that is privately rented for normal sky high UK rates, was anywhere close to being as “luxurious” as one of those apartments, and in Paris too! I am clearly doing something wrong in life.

    • Corpho

      Yes, a comfortable life is such a letdown when you could be of a handful who win the lottery of one attractive public housing project out of thousands.

  • john

    Are you kidding me? How I’m not supposed to get mad with all thise ridiculous orange walls? And the entire building looks like a misshapen plastic container. Just horrible, stupid and unnecessary.

  • Vanessa

    Children’s prison.