Two different urban situations characterize the housing project in the 14th district of Paris: on one side, the blocks that overlook Rue des Suisses and Rue Jonquoy and on the other, the courtyard with high walls of fire on the back.
Our two condominiums on Rue des Suisses and Rue Jonquoy are incorporated into the facade, typical of residential neighborhoods in many Parisian arrondissements. The verticals represent the overall design of the relatively homogeneous facades of the adjacent buildings. As in most 19th century Parisian neighborhoods, the street therefore conveys a certain elegance despite the fact that the individual buildings are not particularly attractive. Our two room condominium. The apartment of the house. Folding shutters can be individually adjusted by tenants so that, despite the targeted homogeneity of the facades, the overall impression of their appearance varies. The apartments are accessible via a central staircase, with a porter controlling the entrance to Rue des Suisses.
The situation in the courtyard was completely different, because there were no predetermined urban specifications to be used as the typological basis for the project. How should you go about designing apartments? What urban planning strategies should be pursued? What kind of buildings should be placed there?
We are trying to understand that we are living in Paris. We are dealing with a horizontal strategy, that is to say, we are maintaining the buildings.
An extended three-story structure with arcade-type balconies. The backbone of the complex in the block. Adjacent is cottage, one-story buildings for kitchens and bathrooms. In front of the long garden wall that runs along a playground, we have built some small single-family houses with gabled roofs. The result is an apparently random system of small units, courtyards and paths with fragments of old walls covered with cultivated and wild vegetation.
This urban model is a surprise when it comes to the courtyard, because it is a great contrast to the alignment of the 19th century blocks facing the street. But, looking closely, you can discover some remains of an old anchor, the pre-Haussmann district, the narrow streets such as Villa Mallebay, Villa Duthy or Villa Jamot
The landscaped courtyard accommodations are very different in size, layout and positioning.
The concrete walls with a clear facade were covered with a network of large synthetic ropes similar to grates to provide a growing base for climbing plants such as ivy and wild vines. The wooden roller shutters along the three-storey facade unfold on molded metal rails, giving the building a profile, like a piece of furniture.
Herzog & de Meuron, 2000