in romainville — a suburb of paris — brenac & gonzalez & associés designed an apartment building complex that changes the living dynamic for its inhabitants. the concept behind the design can be described as a fragmentation of built mass. this is achieved by the addition of a series of tiny exterior satellite spaces made of wood to contrast with the buildings from which they extend. they manage to blur the distinctions of existing spaces, turning the otherwise standard and momentous built forms into activated interiors and exteriors that excite the imagination. 

brenac gonzalez
all images © sergio grazia

 

 

the building complex includes 161 apartments, no two with the same orientation or view. the project was commissioned by bouygues immobilier, a french real estate group, and according to brenac & gonzalez et associés, this creation of visual perspectives makes ‘this city block more porous and open’ — an approach that also alleviates the perception of density and improves the quality of the apartments. it creates more privacy and the illusion of separation from the neighbors. furthermore, the structure is not just a benefit to the apartment inhabitants, but rather an overall enhancement of framing and views shared by all in the community — from the inhabitant to the chance passersby.

brenac gonzalez

 

 

 

this scheme is, at least in part, derived from nature. it appears almost as a forest of tree-houses — but what urban forest would complete without a real vegetation? the designers made sure to incorporate a blanket of green to cover the space between buildings. the green interlaces the interior courtyards of the city block. this domestic vernacular aspect enhanced by various wooden footbridges underscores the architectural plan with these detached terraces. it creates a kind of chaos that is pleasant to the eye, a randomness and lack of symmetry typically only found in nature. 

brenac gonzalez

brenac gonzalez

brenac gonzalez

brenac gonzalez

brenac gonzalez

brenac gonzalez

brenac gonzalez

brenac gonzalez

 

 

 

 

project info:

 

 

project name: romainville
address: quartier marcel cachin, romainville
program: 161 apartments
client: bouygues immobilier
construction project management: exatech
architect: brenac & gonzalez & associés
services engineer: biotop
environmental consulting: qualiconsult
structural engineer: buchet
acoustician: acoustique & conseil
inspection: batiplus
landscape architect: jean-michel rameau
site safety coordination: elan
thermal engineer: pouget consultants
economist: oldesc
surface: 10 790 sqm
year completed: 2017
eco-design: bbc, effinergie
photo credits: © sergio grazia