Dezeen Magazine

Paris Social Housing by ECDM

Paris architects ECDM have completed this 63-unit social housing development in Paris.


It is located between existing buildings, at the intersection of two streets.  A courtyard, hidden from the street, separates the building into two volumes connected by a basement car park.


The front facade is composed of coloured glass in different shades of green.


The text below is from the architects:


Collage Paris

Located at the intersection of the homogeneous and Haussmannian facades of Gossec Street, and of the disparate architecture built in stages on Picpus Street, the site for this 63-unit social housing program is part of a typical ‘collage-city’ landscape. It is characterized by two ground levels: at the front it connects to the steep slope of Picpus Street, and at the back it borders onto a landscape garden, 1.50 m higher than the average level of the soil. The project aims to link these opposite building typologies and ground levels.


Two buildings,  7 and 6 storeys high respectively, are aligned in parallel at the front and back (north and south) of the plot, and are lifted up on stilts.  The accommodation is concentrated on the street side which leaves a wide open space that reaches the landmark garden.


On Picpus Street, the project is connected to the truncated bow of the Haussmannian building at the angle of Gossec Street, as if the site was a corner plot. It prolongs the fixtures and the components of the architecture of the Gossec Street, proposing a sharp collage. On the east side, the project is aligned with the roof of the smooth facade of a building from the 70's, also continuing the fixture and the components of the adjacent building, marked by a withdrawal that completes the project.


Elevated above 2 parking levels, the ground floor slab appears like a mineral kaleidoscope, which dissolves the disabled access requirements in an opportunistic and playful mid-mineral mid-vegetation landscape. For each apartment or accommodation the exact prolongation of the kaleidoscope generates a free movement of the doors and windows, emphasized by their reflection in the stainless cladding of the ribbons and the ceilings.


One enters the residence through a metallic curtain by a wide porch at the axis of the project, and then each building has its own entrance hall. The common areas are generous, clear, without residual spaces and benefit from natural light.


The project presents 2 colours and 4 specific facades conceived to respond to very specific conditions, all characterized by wide windows, opening onto large terraces or balconies (depending on their orientation) and protected by coloured glass which is treated like sunglasses.


The project proposes the implementation of 64 houses developing a GFA of 4 126 square meters.


Sustainability requirements were emphasized for the conception of this social housing building. Standards for energy use were up to 30% stricter than legally binding standards in France at the time the building permit was delivered.