The architecture of the Paris faubourg has a spontaneous feel; the variety of outlines, scales and materials forms a disparate cityscape. This eclectic mix of forms and styles seems to authorise a few liberties today. But this is to ignore the complexity of planning rules and the demands made by sharp-eyed neighbours. On a deep, narrow plot overlooked by several nearby buildings and once occupied by a derelict building, two new constructions have been planned.
Rather than leaping at the chance to make a grandiloquent and inappropriate gesture, we preferred a simple solution. The architectural style is deliberately understated to remain in keeping with an anarchic urban setting. The building engages in a delicate dialogue with its built surroundings.
The main white façade is stepped so that it follows on from the neighbouring buildings, one of which is set further back.
On the garden side, the building is clad in solid wood modules that give it a warm, intimate, peaceful atmosphere that contrasts with the hustle and bustle of the Paris faubourg.
All the apartments are floor-through so that they make the most of the calm green space set back from the street. The building at the rear enjoys this calm ambiance for the same reasons. The heights of the buildings have been deliberately calculated to avoid impressions of density and to ensure the apartments, including those at garden level, receive as much sunlight as possible.
This project delicately responds to the question raised by the occupation of a deep, narrow plot in the very heart of a busy area. This cluster overlooking the street and a garden attempts to offer an urban living environment in which residents can really breathe.