"Crowd built" housing block by Périphériques envisioned as a cluster of small buildings

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Twenty-three designs have been selected as part of a plan to reinvigorate Paris – but one of the few that didn't make the cut is this proposal by Périphériques for a "crowd-built" megastructure resembling a pile of smaller blocks (+ slideshow).

Immeuble Village by Périphériques in Paris, France

Périphériques architects Emmanuelle Marin and David Trottin developed a proposal aimed at making the city affordable again for residents who have been pushed out by rising rents.

Through crowdfunding, the French architects believe that local residents would be able to put together enough funds to create their own development, combining all sorts of different structures. They call the process crowd building.

Immeuble Village by Périphériques in Paris, France

"Our purpose is to give Paris back to the people who can't afford it any longer, whether owners or tenants," said the duo, who recently completed a faceted red cultural centre in northwest France.

"Our crowd building is the symbol of interested-citizen reappropriation of manufacturing the city," they added. "Paris by us, Paris for us!"



Visualisations show the structure as a huge agglomeration, made up of different sizes, types and styles of building. A similar example has already been built in the Netherlands – a hotel resembling a pile of houses.

The aim was to demonstrate how the building can combine various types of housing, as well as community facilities and retail.

Immeuble Village by Périphériques in Paris, France

"We want to create innovative properties, even condominiums, that combine accessible and top-of-the-range housing," said Marin and Trottin.

"The various apartments schemes, which generate various lease rates, will be proposed on the renting market below market prices," they added. "But still, investors will enjoy distinctive and safe profits."

Immeuble Village by Périphériques in Paris, France

The project was proposed for a plot in the Paris Rive Gauche urban development zone, one of 23 sites offered by development as part of the Reinventer Paris project spearheaded by Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo.

Périphériques lost out to XTU Architectes, which proposed a more traditional housing development featuring plant-covered balconies. Other winning teams included Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto and British architect David Chipperfield.

Immeuble Village by Périphériques in Paris, France
Concept diagram one – click for larger image
Immeuble Village by Périphériques in Paris, France
Concept diagram two – click for larger image
Immeuble Village by Périphériques in Paris, France
Concept diagram three – click for larger image
Immeuble Village by Périphériques in Paris, France
Ground floor plan – click for larger image
Immeuble Village by Périphériques in Paris, France
Fourth floor plan – click for larger image
Immeuble Village by Périphériques in Paris, France
Seventh floor plan – click for larger image
Immeuble Village by Périphériques in Paris, France
Eleventh floor plan – click for larger image
Immeuble Village by Périphériques in Paris, France
Cross section – click for larger image
  • tom lever

    Disgusting. Why not just build what you can properly on the ground? Making it wonky does not make this tower block any less Modernist. False pluralism.

    • EHL

      “Why not just build what you can properly on the ground?” Because there isn’t enough ground in Paris?

  • Jordan

    Is it bad that I really like the idea, but I feel that it would not live up expectations if completed.

    • EHL

      Would you say the one in Zaandam hasn’t lived up to expectations?

  • Hej!

    I would like to live in a building like this. Looks much better than OMA’s “de Rotterdam”, which is a city in one building too.

  • mb4design

    C’est affreux and I don’t speak French.

  • Aaron

    What a brilliant example of rethinking what architecture means beyond mere form making (e.g. funding models, collaboration etc). We need to see more of this kind of thing if architecture is to become relevant again to people other than architects.

    • scinofi

      Aaron, you are severely blind to how stupid its ultra-high cost would be, thus defeating its egalitarian affordable goal entirely.

      Not to forget it is also structurally scary and stupidly designed, being nearly impossible to build without massive hidden steel expenses.

  • picky

    Oh, well. Why the same colour? There is so little creativity and it is safe. :)

  • Adrian Chaffey

    Proof you can strip PoMo of ridiculous colours, and it is still ridiculous.

  • Reitmor

    Grotesque. A travesty of architecture.

  • Hannes Wallace
  • EHL

    If this is feasible in terms of engineering, I don’t see what’s wrong with building it and seeing how it goes. It’s not like it would ruin the skyline or anything like that. Does anybody think the “more traditional housing development” will be remarkable or memorable in any way?

  • Kay

    Boy.

  • Tsi Nikayen’ Enonhne’

    The design is brilliant. Most high-density projects squeeze people into conformity and mundane monastic identity. Creating various facades, shape and texture is a great way of promoting individualism and a stylised sense of identity.
    It is brilliant!

  • Jay

    Good luck keeping the rain out.