NZI architectes’ role consisted in the development of the project in montreuil following the design workshops with the inhabitants which were held once every two weeks over five months. increasing the pace was necessary to give concrete answers to the expectations. often avant-garde, the inhabitants were not lacking in imagination. the pedagogical process was indeed necessary in order to correspond all the ambitions with the rules of the professional world, especially in the process of construction where the interlocutors are multiple.

the corner façade of the project illustrates the urban and industrial diversity of the neighborhood
all images by juan sepulveda grazioli



french practice NZI architectes‘ main concern has not been to disappoint the expectations: the adopted strategy aims at the most feasible proposal, leaving more ambitious options temporarily aside. the architects felt it was necessary to announce good surprises rather than failures, both in terms of domestic and external performance. once the building permit was obtained, the inhabitants drew their dwelling with the design team. the role was on counseling, based on personal specifications and compositions of each household. NZI did not impose their vision, the objective being to make their home.

porch accessible to pedestrians and RMCs



beyond the clearly defined areas for the inhabitants in the use of leisure, breathing and comfort in the act of inhabiting, the common circulations represent a real subject of reflection in the practice of housing design. if open-air circulation covers the classic distribution role, the scale NZI architectes have given them leaves room for more spontaneous occupations. a posteriori the youngest inhabitants make a play area and the inhabitants can arrive in front of their accommodation with their own bike. the widths of the corridors are not strictly limited to the regulation but exceed 180 cm in order to offer common terraces in addition to the private extensions of the houses acquired.

landscape building on the heart of the island



the garden on the ground floor, serves several functions: it is both a pedestrian distribution area, a convivial space and a rain garden for the surface management of rainwater. the distances between the dwellings and the edge of the valley are made by means of massifs of shrubs and grasses. they will form a screen about 80cm high to ensure privacy in the accommodations. the grassed spaces are all collective, but the appropriation of the space in front of the dwellings is expected. in this spirit, there is no adjoining fence between the houses overlooking the collective garden. two valleys run along the northern edge of the pathway, forming a tool for managing rainwater and also the point of composition of the garden.

the large outer corridors have become a play area for the youngest



the operation includes two accessible roof gardens: the largest (270m2) is on the courtyard building, the second smaller (90m2) is located at the corner of the building on the street. the functions of these roofs are not deliberately defined to allow a subsequent appropriation by the inhabitants. however, the roofs are equipped with a complex of culture of 80cm of thickness whose composition is optimal for the vegetable production (soil modified in compost and sand).

the double slope roofs remind us of the typical urban composition of this district of montreuil

the interior garden is open to everyone

the interior garden, without private fences, offers an additional shared space for the inhabitants

a wide opening on the inner garden opens the view to the inhabitants from the circulations

in addition to the terraced roofs, the corridors are also shared places

a complex of cultivation of 80 cm offers the inhabitants the possibility of organizing a vegetable garden



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: apostolos costarangos | designboom

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    architecture news