This building in the town of Massy comprising 106 flats designed by MPA Architectes, who are also coordinating the entire block (the “Ilot Migaux”), is the last piece in the puzzle and finishes off the development. It inaugurates a new neighbourhood in Massy, alongside the hotel designed by Lambert & Lenack and the student residence designed by Eric Lapierre Experience.
The area is a brand new residential environment and the project, along with the “Ilot Galvani” that is currently under construction, represents one of the key phases in the town’s development plan. By addressing the concept of living space, each phase helps the town to build a new urban identity.
The new development fits into an environment that had, until now, mainly been given over to business premises, warehouses and independent offices as part of an industrial development zone (ZAC industrielle). The idea of this project is to move the current typology forward by applying clear, robust organisational principles and producing a design that cohesively ties together all the neighbouring typologies.
We applied a clearly legible principle: that of buildings that are in keeping with the scale of the surrounding area. The configuration and aspect of the plot and the morphology of the neighbouring buildings raise the question of urban typology, not merely that of their footprint.
The residential building in two sections, each with its own distinct architectural design, forms a large U shape standing on the corner of the Rue Galvani and the Rue Bougainville and running alongside the boundary opposite the future school.
Two simple blocks, one rectangular and the other forming an L shape on the inside of the block, are connected by a lower section running along the Rue Bougainville. The façades of these two blocks have two different looks according to their orientation and the way they relate to the urban environment. The exterior façades combine strictness and diversity: strictness in terms of the all-over treatment of the façade in immaculate white; and diversity in terms of the generously proportioned exterior spaces running along the façades, whose structure nonetheless protects the privacy of the occupants. Like the façades, these are simple and sleek, their brown-gold colour punctuated by large covered balconies that form gaps and give the façade a sense of rhythm.
The façades overlooking the central area have large balconies that both punctuate and enliven them.
Building 1, which has six storeys, is a simple rectangular building whose architectural design features a series of strips made up of loggias, pilasters and posts. These features help to enliven the block. The regular vertical grid wraps around the building on the ground floor, first floor, fifth floor and sixth floor, and is further enlivened on the second, third and fourth floors by playing with the random positioning of the same verticals.
The position of the loggias and balconies and the random relief pattern of the façades create contrasts of light and shade.
The floor-through lobby opening onto the Rue Galvani is clearly identifiable from the street thanks to a long section of perforated white metal cladding that allows light to filter in. At ground floor level in the central courtyard area there are green spaces and large terraces accessible from the flats. They are separated by screens but accessible from the central garden. The entire building is made of smooth whitewashed concrete. All the rectangular vertical window frames are based on the same module and made of pale grey wood and aluminium. The pale grey guardrails are glazed on the sixth floor of the main building and have railings on the four-storey section.
The roof parapets on building 2 are quite tall and have no architectural metalwork. On the ground floor along the Rue Bougainville, sliding perforated metal shutters protect the corner apartment from prying eyes.
The gap between the two buildings is occupied by a simple four-storey block made of carefully produced concrete colourwashed in dark brown. It is set back 2 metres from the street and the ground has been treated in the same way as the entrance plaza on the Rue Galvani.
On the fourth floor there are wide terraces with glazed guardrails. They are separated from one another by planted containers in order to avoid the more usual screens and claustras. The window frames are made of light grey wood and aluminium and are framed in turn by dark painted steel surrounds that are flush with the façade.
The guardrails on the section overlooking the street are glazed, while the ones overlooking the gardens have railings. They are light grey.
Building 2, which has five storeys overlooking the street and four overlooking the garden, is an L-shaped building deliberately designed to be a strongly assertive presence along the Rue Bougainville and to have a lighter, more evanescent feel along the school boundary.
The architectural design is simple, sleek and punctuated by loggias that help to bring the building to life. The stacked loggias and balconies create patterns of shadow.
At ground floor level inside the block there are green spaces as well as wide terraces leading directly from the flats. The green spaces are accessible from the terraces.
The lobby opens onto the Rue Bougainville. This is a more intimate lobby whose distinguishing feature is its perforated ochre and beige metal cladding. To create a sense of visual continuity with respect to the ground floor façades, the technical room is treated in exactly the same way.
The entire building is made of as-struck concrete with exposed tie holes carefully positioned to form a regular pattern and expansion joints running all around the building on each level and entering each loggia. The concrete is painted with ochre-beige colourwash in order to bring the rough construction material to life. The three-storey block set back from the garden is made of dark colourwashed concrete the same colour as the “gap” section so as to make its presence more discreet.
The window frames, which are simple rectangles on the ground floor and have extra glazed sections on the floors above, are made of pale grey wood and aluminium. The guardrails, which are also light grey, all have railings. On the ground floor, along the Rue Bougainville, a series of ochre-coloured perforated metal sliding screens protect the corner flat from the prying eyes of passing pedestrians.
The loggias, some of which are shared between two flats, are separated by wooden structures that act as both privacy screens and storage units.