Haussmannian flexibility. 40 housing units in Paris by LAN Architecture

The project pays homage to Paris and its 19th century Haussmanian architecture. A perfect extrusion of the lot, the project introduces the notion that, through flexibility and by emptying an architecture of its program, a building can generate a potential that will develop along with urban development, allowing it to readily respond to changes in its use.

 

© Julien Lanoo

© Julien Lanoo

 

The renowned French architecture office LAN Architecture have designed a new building in Clichy-Batignolles in Paris, paying homage to its local, historical architectural style from the nineteenth century in a contemporary way. LAN Architecture is the winner of the French National phase of the BigMat International Architectural Award.

Lot 4.2 is part of the new Clichy-Batignolles mixed development area and is located at the edge of boulevard Pereire. It has a unique urban situation. Ensuring the connection between these two architectural worlds is one of the challenges of this project, which also renders homage to Paris and the architecture of the 19th century. The Haussmann building has in fact revealed itself to be an extraordinarily open form of architecture capable of absorbing other uses than its originally intended ones. Our idea has been to exploit this sense of flexibility by creating an architecture that forms part of the city’s current logic, but which also offers solutions to current and future challenges. The building seeks to anticipate needs and changes by proposing a full reversibility between a residential and an office building. It uses a similar framework as for office buildings; the composition of the façade alternates one full module with two empty ones together with the core of the circulation, this ensures the structure. The size and regularity of the door and window openings, which are identical on the three façades, create a general image of the building without specifically denoting its use.

 

© Julien Lanoo

© Julien Lanoo

 

The volume is a perfect extrusion of the triangular lot which fully exploits all the plot’s spatial possibilities. Through its flexibility, the project introduces the notion that by emptying an architecture of its program, a building generates potential that will accompany the evolutions in urban development and allow it to respond more readily to changes in use. This open quality provides certain undeniable advantages to the apartments: with lots of windows and natural light and very spacious, they are all set up around a loggia, an extension of the interior living space towards the exterior, which contributes to ventilation in the summer months. A series of subtle architectural distinctions on the façades compensates for different needs in terms of thermal comfort.

 

© Julien Lanoo

© Julien Lanoo

 

Lot 4.2 is part of the new Clichy- Batignolles mixed development area and is located at the edge of boulevard Pereire, at the meeting point of two different periods in the history of Paris’ urban development. The building plays a key role in inking these two architectural worlds. The project renders homage to Paris and the 19th century architecture of the Haussmann building. It seeks to preserve the “intrinsic intelligence of this form,” which has allowed the buildings constructed during the Haussmann period to survive many changes and grow with the city, providing multiple, often very different uses of the same building.

© LAN Architecture

© LAN Architecture

 

The Haussmann building was designed primarily as a place of residence for the bourgeoisie, but it revealed itself to be an extraordinarily open architecture capable of incorporating other uses besides habitation: offices, stores, workshops, schools, etc. There are common characteristics in all these architectures that lie at the base of this flexibility: a clear structure, a ground floor that is accessible from the street and which can extend to include the mezzanine, a wealth and variety of door and window openings to allow for the construction of all kinds of plans, variable heights in the floors, adequate thickness, and a high level of compactness. We consider these values as the great heritage of the Parisian building, and we have sought to translate them into an architecture that forms part of the city’s current logic, but which also offers solutions to current and future challenges.

 

© Julien Lanoo

© Julien Lanoo

 

The design of the façade for Lot 4.2 uses a structural pattern similar to the office buildings (1.35 meters). It alternates one full module with two empty ones, which correspond to the window openings. Together with the core of the circulation, this ensures the building’s structure. The height between floors is 3.2 meters, halfway between the standard height for residential housing (2.8 meters) and that for office buildings (3.5 meters).The commercial ground floor includes part of the 1st floor; its slightly different treatment indicates its urban character. The ornamentation borrows various elements from the Haussmann style, especially the horizontal stretchers that mark the piano nobile, as well as the proportion of fullness and emptiness.

 

© LAN Architecture

Housing vs Office © LAN Architecture

 

The volume is a perfect extrusion of the triangular lot which fully exploits all the plot’s spatial possibilities. Through its flexibility, the project introduces the notion that by emptying an architecture of its program, a building generates potential that will accompany the evolutions in urban development and allow it to respond more readily to changes in use. The rue de Saussure building seeks to anticipate needs and changes by proposing a full reversibility between a residential and an office building.

At the same time, this sense of openness gives each residence a very particular quality. The apartments have a lot of windows and are very well lit and spacious. They are all set up around a loggia, an extension of the interior living space towards the exterior. This type of patio also has a thermal function, introducing a new orientation in the building that helps ventilate the housing during the summer months. Above and beyond the classic, standard ratio, the mostly glass façades significantly enhance the quality of the building’s uses, which benefit from an abundance of natural light and views.

 

© Julien Lanoo

© Julien Lanoo

© Julien Lanoo

© Julien Lanoo

 

The size and regularity of the door and window openings, which are identical on the three façades, create a general image of the building without specifically denoting its use. A series of architectural distinctions on the façades compensates for the different levels of thermal comfort required on the northern and southern sides. The variations play out in the size of the openings – French doors which open fully to the south versus halfheight windows to the north – in the position of the windows in relation to the façade, which use its thickness to create an interior projected shadow, in the position of the stores, inside and outside, as well as in the materiality of the railing, which is made of glass orstainless steel mesh.

 

© Julien Lanoo

© Julien Lanoo

 

The materials favor a certain sobriety and are limited in number: polished concrete tinted black for the prefabricated panels for the façade, black lacquered aluminum for the concealed opening frames, glass for the windows, both for the half-height windows and the railings, stainless steel mesh, etc.

Flexibility

The building was configured to have flexibility even its structural system, which is in fact composed of a loadbearing core which contains all the horizontal and vertical circulations, and trumeaus surrounding the windows which take the vertical load distribution from the façade. Brick walls separate the apartments, and the partitions that define the rooms can be removed to create space for offices.

 

© LAN Architecture

© LAN Architecture 

A Haussmann Typology

The project design was an opportunity to consider the Haussmann building as a type, above and beyond the formal, size-related, or even ornamental aspects. Certain notions struck us emblematic. A clear structure, a ground floor that looks out onto the street, a wealth of door and window openings that allow for the construction of all kinds of plans, variable heights between floors, an adequate thickness, and a high level of compactness.

Framed Views

The large windows in the apartments also create frames to contemplate the surrounding urban landscape. Boulevard Pereire and the tree-lined mall below and the façades of its Haussmann buildings provide an iconic Parisian background. Two more distant landmarks, la Défense and Sacré-Coeur, are visible from the upper floors.

 

© Julien Lanoo

© Julien Lanoo

© Julien Lanoo

© Julien Lanoo

© Julien Lanoo

© Julien Lanoo

© Julien Lanoo

© Julien Lanoo

© Julien Lanoo

© Julien Lanoo

 


Project Data

PROGRAM: 40 housing units and commercial spaces
CLIENT: ICF Novedis
ADDRESS: ZAC Saussure Pont-Cardinet, Îlot, 4.2, Paris 17e
COST: EUR 5.9M, before taxes
NUA: 3,700m² Floor Area: 2,900m²
SCHEDULE: 2010 – 2014
TEAM: LAN (Commissioned Architects),
Bollinger+Grohmann (Structure), Agence
Franck Boutté (HQE Consultant), LBE (Fluids),
JP Tohier & Associés (Budget Surveyor).

 


Documents

© LAN Architecture

Sasussure in Paris © LAN Architecture

© LAN Architecture

Site plan © LAN Architecture

 

© LAN Architecture

Plan 2 and 4 © LAN Architecture

© LAN Architecture

Plan 3 and 5 © LAN Architecture

© LAN Architecture

Plan 6 © LAN Architecture

© LAN Architecture

Plan 7 © LAN Architecture

 

© LAN Architecture

Longitudinal section © LAN Architecture

© LAN Architecture

Transversal section © LAN Architecture

© LAN Architecture

Prefabricated facade panels © LAN Architecture

 

© LAN Architecture

© LAN Architecture

 

© LAN Architecture

© LAN Architecture

 


 

 

News source: LAN Architecture
Image credits:  Julien Lanoo, as quoted.
Text adapted from LAN.