Street and Garden Apartments / rh+ architecture
Text description provided by the architects. The building locates in the 11th district of Paris on the street of “Faubourg du Temple”. 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 authorize a few liberties today. But this is to ignore the complexity of planning rules and the demands made by sharp-eyed neighbors.
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 neighboring 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. The facades are composed of blocks of Concrete facade 20x 20cm wood, solid larch 3, 5, and 7cm thick.
These blocks are wedged to create a game of random masses and bring shadows and vibrate the facades. On the street side, the façade is made of white concrete, complexion in the mass: white is not everything is uniform and has traces specific to “poured in place” concrete. some parts are “hammered”, a rough texture that highlights openings and the inclined facade, which is a link with the neighboring building setback.
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.
The plot, 45 meters long for 9 meters wide is characteristic of the Paris suburbs. The construction of two buildings separated by gardens was the best performer in terms of ventilation, land use, and views. The majority of dwellings have two opposite facades and a balcony or a terrace. The porch and the open passage allow guessing the garden from the street.
The density of these two small buildings of 14 dwellings, located between two gardens, is reasonable and balanced: 9 units on the street side, with terraces on the 3rd floor, and 5 units on the garden side, with terraces or balconies on all floors. Roofs are broken to create terraces and let in the light in the nearby courtyards. The courtyard of the building is quiet and airy, with very present vegetation. The animation of the street seems distant.