In this neighbourhood which, since the opening of the A7 motorway, has lost its coherence, the intention of our project is to reconstitute the existing urban fabric and reinstate the unity the area previously enjoyed. The urban study carried out by François Kern has, amongst other things, developed a grid of streets based on existing impasses. Our two buildings, designed in tandem with Zakarian Navelet, are coherent with this intention. They reflect a simple approach to the city. Aligned on the existing streets and on the newly built Rue Oscar Tessier, they display variations in height that add dynamism to the roof line, while their shapes and volumes mirror the verticality of the neighbourhood.
The design approach did not consist of emphasising an artificial diversity between the two structures but, instead, of acknowledging a similarity of style between the North and South buildings. The ensemble thus constructs its own identity within the heterogeneous environment in which it set. To build residential units in the city is to partake in urban construction. There is no point in making things overly complicated; it is essential to work with what exists. The linearity of the street will be punctuated by a building erected between the two islands of the 183 residential units.
A stark white mineral silhouette. The façade overlooking the street is sober. It allows itself a few rhythmic variations. Making play of its windows, it launches itself skywards, seeking verticality. Meanwhile, along the motorway, it imposes its horizontality, its form attracting the gaze of passing city-dwellers.
The heart of the island is intimate and homely. A domestic façade characterised by a horizontality underlined by large terraces and a guardrail in galvanised steel. Generous trraces prolong the apartments, providing an additional living area. Wood panels, ready to be dressed, protect residents’ intimacy. In opposition to the minerality of the façade overlooking the street, the heart of the island features warm colours and climbing plants.
The residential units have large terraces ranging from 6 to 18m², providing an additional living area. The thick wood panels support décor and vegetation. There are various pieces of equipment, including a table and a barbecue, storage units and two deckchairs. Each one reveals a little of its character on the loggia, installing itself in the sun.
The semi-subterranean car park extends along the ground floor level to the heart of the island. It is shared by all the residential units. The roof of the car park is a metal structure that references the neighbourhood’s industrial character. It supports vegetation composed of climbing plants (ivy) and olive trees. From the residential units, the cars are hidden by the vegetation. Seen from the cars, the olive trees seem to float in the sky.