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.
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.
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.
A large open-plan living room and kitchen occupies the entire ground floor and features exposed ceiling beams and recessed shelving units.
A spiral staircase leads up to a bedroom and bathroom on the middle floor, while the angular penthouse holds the master bedroom.
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.
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.
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.
To make the best use of the qualities of the plot of land allocated, the house is divided into two entities.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Architect: Noel Dominguez
Team: Léo Pollard, Zoé Salvaire
Structural engineering (foundation): N. Perifan
Structural engineering (wood): Rialland
Framing wood, insulation and siding: LS Charpentes
Aluminium joinery: FHA
Locksmith: La Boite de Fer
Carpentry: Francis Bonnet ébénisterie
Cost without tax/M²: €2850