Noel Dominguez inserts timber cube house
into Parisian garden

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French architect Noel Dominguez has added a timber-clad residence with an angular penthouse to the former garden of a townhouse on the outskirts of Paris (+ slideshow).

Wooden House in Paris by Noel Dominguez

Named Wooden House in Paris, the compact three-storey residence is clad with timber on its two lower storeys, while its glazed top floor is a wedge-shaped penthouse set back from the parapet.

Wooden House in Paris by Noel Dominguez

Paris-based Noel Dominguez describes the building as "a periscope" mounted on "a wooden cube". Its shape was designed to maintain privacy from surrounding buildings, but also ensure it doesn't restrict the views from any neighbouring windows.

Wooden House in Paris by Noel Dominguez

The two-storey base is a timber construction, with deeply recessed windows concentrated onto two elevations, while the upper section was conceived as "a mass of metal and glass" that "contorts and twists to avoid side views," said the architect.

Wooden House in Paris by Noel Dominguez

A large open-plan living room and kitchen occupies the entire ground floor and features exposed ceiling beams and recessed shelving units.

Wooden House in Paris by Noel Dominguez

A spiral staircase leads up to a bedroom and bathroom on the middle floor, while the angular penthouse holds the master bedroom.

Wooden House in Paris by Noel Dominguez

Due to the restricted nature of the site, construction become a challenge for the design team. Access was through a 1.4-metre-wide passage, meaning that timber had to be lifted into the site with a hand-powered pulley system.

Wooden House in Paris by Noel Dominguez

In response to this, the architect built a digital model of the structure, giving each timber component a unique reference number for ease of construction. This enabled the house to be constructed in just three weeks.

Wooden House in Paris by Noel Dominguez

Photography is by Fred Toulet, apart from where otherwise stated.

Read on for more text from the architects:


Wooden House in Paris

In the heterogeneous urban fabric of this part of the 20th district of Paris we are asked for a house. 
At the bottom of what was, before the breakup of the family and the sale of the house on the street, the garden, the client starts a new life.

Wooden House in Paris by Noel Dominguez

To make the best use of the qualities of the plot of land allocated, the house is divided into two entities.

Wooden House in Paris by Noel Dominguez

The wooden cube – a cube of wood is placed back-to-back against the terraced houses in the site. Four of its faces are open, according to the opportunity for views and illumination offered by the plot of land and the terraced housing.

Wooden House in Paris by Noel Dominguez

The periscope – positioned on the wooden cube, a mass of metal and glass contorts and twists to avoid side views while making visual framing and lights of the project.

Wooden House in Paris by Noel Dominguez

Ship in a bottle... 
Over the 18 metres that separate the narrow street from the construction platform site we circulate across passages 1.4m wide, we encounter a porch 2.5m high with a tree across it. The house on the street is inhabited, its garden opens itself on our plot. The project thus looks like a model ship in a bottle.

Wooden House in Paris by Noel Dominguez
Photograph by Hélène Bergaz

We choose a technique where small units of wood are assembled on site and placed by hand or pulley, without machinery (no crane !).
The entire structure is modelled in 3D, each piece arrives on site with a reference and is part of a very precise mounting process.
In order to limit damage to the environment (broadly defined), this technique allows the mounting of the house in three weeks and then the adorning of an insulating wool protection.

Wooden House in Paris by Noel Dominguez

Architect: Noel Dominguez
Team: Léo Pollard, Zoé Salvaire
Structural engineering (foundation): N. Perifan
Structural engineering (wood): Rialland
TCE: LMP
Framing wood, insulation and siding: LS Charpentes
Aluminium joinery: FHA
Painter: ECRIN
Locksmith: La Boite de Fer
Carpentry: Francis Bonnet ébénisterie
Cost without tax/M²: €2850

Site plan of Wooden House in Paris by Noel Dominguez
Site plan - click for larger image
Axonometric diagram of Wooden House in Paris by Noel Dominguez
Axonometric diagram of house - click for larger image
  • stuart.mitchell

    Beautiful, stunning, my dream home in paris, say no more…