XTU architects: nanterre apartment block, france XTU architects: nanterre apartment block, france
apr 30, 2013

XTU architects: nanterre apartment block, france

‘nanterre apartment block’ by XTU architects, nanterre, franceimage © renaude dessade




a new design by nicolas de mazieres and  anouk legendre use the principals of volumetric forms to create a veritable, consolidates architectural language. the built form takes on a graphic sensibility as it breaks down the space of the skyline in ‘ nanterre apartment blocks.’ urban terraces are deconstructed into a landscaped negative of large-scale tetris-like composition. in the context of the andre wogensky prefecture, an area characterized by 1960’s large scale modernist blocks that emphasize space, height and geometry, the nanterre apartments absorb the historically prefabricated and streamlined forms while cutting its volumes with vibrant color.

the buildings actively carve into the skylineimage © luc boegly




the assembly of spaces is additionally clad in a fritted glass facade that protects from solar heat gain and naturally ventilates in the summer.  the two sides of the complex are informed by the movement of light in the french province; low cuts across a neighborhood street complement the higher terraces that identify the avenue decks all while connected at a unified base. the block is completed by a network of interior circulation that leads to numerous vegetable gardens and green roofs, a gesture which restores the domestic scale to the work and cultivates a camaraderie between neighbors.

glazing and built material become almost graphic in natureimage © luc boegly

the massive apartment block is articulated by carved void space and colorful, materially sensitive claddingimage © daisy reillet

the block is at once consolidated and enormousimage © luc boegly

closer view of the exteriorimage © renaude dessade

a skin of fritted glass works with color and aperture to further collapse the dimensionality of the architectureimage © luc boegly

(left) one of the recessed terraces / image © luc boegly(right) interior circulation / image © daisy reillet

fritted glass skin is both aesthetically pleasing and functional in preventing solar heat gainimage © luc boegly

alternate terraces jut out of the main formimage © luc boegly

lobby viewimage © daisy reillet

image © daisy reillet

two hallway typologies(left) image © luc boegly(right) image © daisy reillet

night view of the compleximage © daisy reillet



  • I like this building (It was built a year or two ago actually), but the neighbourhood is so boring…

    Raph says:
  • architectural language achived its own top – just one letter “l”. architects mental simplisity for simple people. such is modern France.

    farhad says:

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