The project is located in the Rigot park in Geneva, alongside the Avenue de France, near the Sismondi school. The choice of the location in the park was impulsed by an urgent and temporary measure aiming at accommodating 370 migrants.
The two buildings of 5 levels each are symmetrical. They are made of 230 prefabricated wooden modules. The dwellings are accessed by an external gallery open on a public courtyard, which connects to the Sismondi streetcar stop and to the Rigot park.
Through its constructive mode, the project aims to limit its environmental impact at various scales such as:
The buildings are bound to be relocated within ten years and the site returned to the Rigot park.
Anticipating the rehabilitation of the site and the recycling of the materials upon removal, the foundations are made of wood and can be reused on the next building location. The crafting of the foundation through a network of piles and wooden footings reduces the project impact on its natural ground. This totally “dry” construction avoids any contamination of the surface water network during construction and frees the process of the burden of recycling concrete in the dismantling phase of the project.
The project taps on local forestry; the materials require little “grey energy”.
The optimisation of the product offered by prefabrication reduce the volume of raw materials involved.
Through the very essence of its refugee sheltering program, the project provides an answer to the current social challenges.
The project responds by housing the displaced through forced migration of vulnerable populations.
The aim of the Hospice Générale and the Conseil d’Etat to design an exemplary project reinforces its creed of facilitating integration through quality housing. The character of the building, determinated by the use of natural wood, conveys a positive image to which the residents can identify.
The project anticipates the specificity of a population that does not systematically have the typical family profile of an heteroparental couple with two kids.
In addition of the diversity of household profiles, another challenge is the important anticipated turnover of families in the housing complex. To respond the waxing and waning of the demand, the project proposes evolving apartments typologies. The modular system allows the housing units to vary from 2 to 8 rooms through a play of fires doors or conversion of kitchen spaces to bedroom.
The tender procedure initiated a process that allowed to involve the local timber manufactures. The resource of construction wood from Geneva’s forests has been imposed for the foundation and the building envelope. The quantity of wood that was used for the project is estimated at 3200 m3 of certified “Label Bois Suisse” wood (formerly COBS), with the exception of the larch window frames that consolidate the façade.
The funding of the project and the investments encompassed the assembly and disassembly of the project. The savings resulting from the robustness of the system and the facilitation of replacement operations are integrated into the financial plan, which shows a positive balance during the realization of the first cycle.