christ & gantenbein unveils social housing with metal facade and rhythmic volumetry in paris

christ & gantenbein unveils social housing with metal facade and rhythmic volumetry in paris

Vaugirard Social Housing by CHRIST & GANTENBEIN

 

Basel-based architecture practice Christ & Gantenbein reveals its first completed project in Paris, the Vaugirard Social Housing. Completed in collaboration with local firm Margot-Duclot Architects, the project takes shape as a large-scale residential development with a metal-clad exterior that complements the surrounding area. The facade is presented as a series of volumes characterized by setbacks and carved-out recessions. The resulting structure acknowledges its constraints while concurrently providing a platform for inventive architectural expression within a dynamically shaped and rhythmically engaging volume.

christ & gantenbein unveils social housing with metal facade and rhythmic volumetry in paris
the Vaugirard Social Housing by Christ & Gantenbein | all images © Florent Michel unless stated otherwise

 

 

breathing new life into the urban fabric of paris

 

This project by Christ & Gantenbein (find more here) in collaboration with Margot-Duclot Architects (find more here) expresses a contemporary strategy for the revitalization of the city, as it is located above a remodeled workshop for the maintenance of the subway, developed in collaboration with Dominique Lyon Architects (find more here). This unique situation – combining an infrastructural environment with residential space – provides new life, accessibility, and a sense of community while ensuring the urban diversity of an evolving neighborhood with a hybrid program. Serving as a link in the urban fabric, the project is characterized as modest and unassuming, yet resilient and progressive. Together with the workshop mentioned below and other projects to be developed as part of a larger master plan, it introduces a new street to Paris that crosses a previously inaccessible part of the city.

christ & gantenbein unveils social housing with metal facade and rhythmic volumetry in paris
the new residential development and its metal-clad exterior complements the traditional surroundings

 

 

rhythmic volumetry and metal-clad facade

 

The project is inspired by an in-depth study of Parisian housing typologies conducted by Christ & Gantenbein at ETH Zurich. The research team cataloged numerous examples of dense urban living, uncovering the strategies used to create identity and optimize access to light and ventilation within the volumes.

 

The theme of intersecting functions affects all aspects of the project, dictating the location of the entrance halls, stairwells, positioning of the apartments, and the resulting urban form with undulations that provide different views and multiple opportunities for floor plans and enhanced natural ventilation. The reinforced concrete framework is complemented by a facade cladding of large prefabricated wooden elements. The choice of wood follows a twofold strategy: It facilitates construction and reduces the cost of built-up structures, while improving the building’s environmental footprint. A metal facade wraps the exterior, and steel with transparent cladding preserves a raw touch and references Parisian rooftops. Along with the strictly repeated window proportions of the fenêtre Parisienne, it is an update of its Haussmannian context, appropriating the city’s traditional roof cover elements, where familiar elements are reinterpreted to come together in the historical and cultural context of the city. With a length of 124 meters, the housing complex is entirely independent of the maintenance building below, using a system of spring boxes that absorb vibrations.

christ & gantenbein unveils social housing with metal facade and rhythmic volumetry in paris
a metal facade wraps the exterior, and steel with transparent cladding preserves a raw touch

 

 

The Interior Design of Vaugirard Social Housing

 

Inside, residents are offered 104 units on five floors. Four apartment types range from smaller studios to five-bedroom floor plans and take advantage of the building’s orientation. Within the confines of standardized subsidized housing, the architects offer the opposite of repetitive units by exposing spatial qualities not normally found in public housing: Articulated, mostly column-free floor plans in a wide range of orientations offer cross and angled views, and at least one balcony or loggia per apartment is paired with generous interior spaces, fundamentally enhancing livability and quality of life. The wide range of orientations and sequences of spaces in enfilade underscores the richness of the floor plan, which allows for numerous connections through space, light and connectivity. The loggias, unheated spaces that regulate the temperature of the building, are not included in the available area per apartment and are therefore considered as an addition to the residents.

christ & gantenbein unveils social housing with metal facade and rhythmic volumetry in paris
the facade is presented as a series of volumes characterized by setbacks and carved-out recessions

christ & gantenbein unveils social housing with metal facade and rhythmic volumetry in paris
the exterior features a strictly repeated pattern of window proportions

christ-gantenbein-social-housing-paris-designboom-full-01

the project is characterized as modest and unassuming, yet resilient and progressive

christ & gantenbein unveils social housing with metal facade and rhythmic volumetry in paris
close-up shot of the metal exterior and the windows

christ & gantenbein unveils social housing with metal facade and rhythmic volumetry in paris
the partments offer mostly column-free floor plans

christ & gantenbein unveils social housing with metal facade and rhythmic volumetry in paris
and at least one balcony or loggia per apartment is paired with the spacious interiors

christ & gantenbein unveils social housing with metal facade and rhythmic volumetry in paris
residents are offered 104 units on five floors

 

 

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project site | image courtesy of Christ & Gantenbein
project site | image courtesy of Christ & Gantenbein
second floor plan | image courtesy of Christ & Gantenbein
second floor plan | image courtesy of Christ & Gantenbein
fifth floor plan | image courtesy of Christ & Gantenbein
fifth floor plan | image courtesy of Christ & Gantenbein

project info: 

 

name: Vaugirard Social Housing
architects: Christ & Gantenbein in collaboration with Margot-Duclot Architectes

team: Emanuel Christ, Christoph Gantenbein, Cloé Gattigo, Jean Wagner, Arthur Clauss, Thibaut Dancoisne, Nicolò Ornaghi, Bérénice Curt, Agnete Astrup, Mathilde Berner
collaboration: SETEC Batiment, INEX, AVLS, BMF
location: Paris, France
area: 10,500 sqm 

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