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).
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.
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.
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.
"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."
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.
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.
No more than three apartments are located on each floor and the angular shapes of the building give each home a non-standard shape.
"The created volumes allow different typologies for the apartments as well as creating views for all," said the architects.
South-facing loggias allow apartments to benefit from sunlight during the peak of the day.
Graphic logos adorn doors to direct residents to bicycle storage and bin stores, while a grassy terrace is located on the roof.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Architects: Vous Êtes Ici Architectes (A. Becker, J. Paulré, P. Pflughaupt)
General contractor: Fayolle & Fils
Technical engineering: FACEA
Environment engineering: ICADE