Social Housing Apartments, Paris

Street or Courtyard

In the northern arrondissements of Paris, two buildings typologies coexist. The street frontage buildings are constructed in masonry and tend to be very consistent in style, forming a regular and ordered street presence.

On the inside of these urban blocks the building typology is the opposite, often the materials are cheap and lightweight and the architecture is vernacular, unpredictable and surprising. Sadly, as these blocks are redeveloped this unique contrast between inside and out is disappearing. Street or Courtyard seeks to reinstate this duality.

On the street side, the development presents an ordered facade with the traditional masonry with plaster render finish. The apartments are staggered to follow the street slope, which allows greater ceiling heights in the living rooms. The flats on the street facade all face the sun (south).

On the courtyard side, the buildings are clad in zinc and timber. Their geometry follows the stringent Parisian setback rules. One flat occupies the entire floor of each building, offering a triple orientation to each apartment (east, north and west).

Location: Rue des Partants, Paris 75020, France 48°51’54.70″N, 2°23’29.90E
Date: 1995
Competition: Frist Prize
Design team: Lacoste+Robain-Thierry Lacoste, Antoinette Robain
Structure: Batiserf, Pierre Bisotto
Hydraulic: Louis Choulet
Quantity Surveyor: Michel Forgue
Photography / images: Lacoste+Robain