Reenchanting the Parisian courtyard
31 social housing units including 7 artist studios
168 rue de Crimée - Paris 19e
Located in a lively neighborhood
The 19th arrondissement of Paris is socially very mixed and it is very pleasent to live there. There are exceptional places such as the Philharmonie and the 104, the Buttes Chaumont, the Parc de la Villette, the Canal de l’Ourcq, as well as many local facilities such as nurseries, swimming pools and municipal libraries.
All these places are the visible part of the public policy that is also deployed in its action for housing by entrusting social landlords with the task of eradicating insalubrity, valuing heritage, building student residences and social housing. 168 Rue de Crimée is one of these social housing programs. The project is discreet; it is barely visible from the street through the porch of a largely restructured “faubourien” building. The courtyard is the heart of the project, it organizes a group of buildings from different epochs: the “faubourien” building, an industrial printshop transformed into artists’
dwellings / workshops and 3 new buildings.
To share the block’s heart
Reunion of the plots of 170 and 168 rue de Crimée
The architectural intent is, above all, social: reinventing an urban courtyard shared by all the inhabitants while individualizing each door entrance. To create circulations that encourage encounters between neighbors, which connect - in the image of the inhabitants - buildings of different origins and natures. The layout of the buildings, the fragmentation of the mass plan allows visual breakthroughs with the courtyards of neighboring plots. There is a physical continuity with the two courtyards which belong to the same landlord. The inhabitants thus benefit from the two united courtyards which form a continuous ensemble with a third courtyard, covered by a glass roof, in the old printing house. The inhabitants of the two plots also share common space (bicycles / stroller room, trash recycling).
Contemporary and traditional
The Parisian standing seam cover
The new buildings leane against the neighboring building walls, with the exception of a part of the central building which, as a pivot, facing the two courtyard. The roofs have a formal and technical relationship with the neighboring roofs. The «copper gold» (alloy of copper and aluminum) material, in solid and perforated version, register these new buildings in their time. The gold copper covering have no technical accesories giving the impression of a simple model: all the ventilation implements of the project are buried. Photovoltaic panels and solar panels are installed on the roofs of rehabilitated buildings. The standing seam roofing follows the traditional use of zinc in Paris.
Typology of Parisian villas
The central courtyard is conceived as a small pedestrian street that extends into the old printshop through the large entrance doors. This small paved street, which takes up the typology of the Parisian villas, serves all the buildings on the ground floor. Between the buildings, there is a system of terraces, loggias, corridors, balconies in wood decking. The change of material marks a first threshold: a first step before returning home.
The entrances of the apartments are in pairs: two entrances per landing. No need to be in the south of France to be able to sit on a few steps in front of your house! There are plenty of seating opportunities: two benches integrated into the stairs are also open to all.
To connect buildings from different times
with external circulations
The «faubourien» building on the rue de Crimée was widely restructured. The facade of rue de Crimée is absolutely unchanged. On the courtyard side, the windows have been lowered and a system of balconies / exterior passageway have been added. The «front» of the building / the entrance faces the courtyard not the street.There are two apartments per floor, accessible by a completely private passageway and served by a staircase at each end. The apartments face two directions, with the living rooms/ kitchens facing the courtyard in order to benefit with the balcony and participate with what happens in the courtyard. The attic floor has been utilized as the upper floors of two duplexes that are accessible at the 3rd floor.
A history in motion
Energy saving - technical choices (constructive and aesthetic) How to transform the existing heritage for respond to today’s phonic and thermal comforts? What types of energy system to choose? What materials should be used? Which construction systems and which covering to choose? What should be preserved, modified, transformed?
It is exciting to adapt to the constraints of an existing building, to understand its history, to discover what creates its identity in order to tpreserve its integraty. It was necessary to completely change the distribution of the “faubourien” building. Indeed, neither the stairs nor the dimensions of the rooms were adapted to current regulations. The choice was made to rebuild wooden floors while bringing a sound improvement (detaching floor joists and suspending ceilings from party walls). Real attention has been paid to maintain a ceiling height that is as acceptable as possible. On the other hand, to consider the thermal insulation of the buildings it is necessary to question the fabrication of each envelope. The street facade has been freed of the impermeable layers that where added over the years, it has been stripped down to the rubble to allow the application of a breathable lime plaster to maintain the alignment with the neighboring building on the street. In this case, the thermal insulation was added to the interior. On the courtyard, the large passageway was set on only two anchor points to avoid making a thermal bridges.
The two penetration profiles have a thermal bridge cut-off at the thermal insulation from the outside.
For the old printshop, a double wall was created. The first part is composed of a wooden frame with wood bracing panels and a double insulation (between the uprights and outside); the other part is freestanding oak studs and brick.
All that could be kept was kept. Thus the two cellars of the site, one in the building on the street, the other today buried under the paved courtyard in front of the hall, are used both as private cellars for the inhabitants as well as mechanical rooms. There are boiler rooms with gas boilers. The project is innovative in terms of energy efficiency since a powerpipe system (heat recovery on used water), solar panels for domestic hot water and power generation from photovoltaic panels have been installed.
In new buildings, the oblique parts are also made of a wooden framework, reducing the thickness of walls, facilitating the implementation of the structure as well as the installation of ventilated black coating. All the external cladding materials (plaster, bricks, copper) were chosen because they cannot be taken a part. In addition, brick and copper have an exceptional perennial character and require very little maintenance.
Industrial building transformed into dwellings / studios
The facade of the old printshop has been completely reconstructed according to historical documents.
A second partial floor was created. The central courtyard under glass is unheated. It is a shared space that serves the homes / workshops with the same logic by configuring the passageway as an outer paved courtyard.
Theater of Life
The balconies allow the inhabitants to be in front of the central courtyard. It is also a simple way for them to greet others from home or from the half-steps of the stairs.
Skyline and ground anchor
Airy and solid
Glossy and refl ective material are on the sky side. Matte mineral bases are in dark terracotta or dark plaster. We congigured the ventilation of the double wall so that the lower part is not visible and the material is lower than the paving blocks or the wood decking. Impressions of strength and permanence strenghthened bythe original paving blocks which give the whole the reassuring character of a history already present. Cut-outs at the roofs draw a broken line in the sky: an aerial crown. The visible indices of the thickness of certain materials (brick thickness, copper fold) reveal one part the system of constructive while retaining a sense of mystery.
Articulation of the two parcels
Located on both plots, this pivoting building closes the courtyard of 170 rue de Crimée until it reaches the façade of the existing building where a building was demolished. It is fragmented into two parts on the side of 168 rue de Crimée to create a second visual breakthrough. The ground floor of the two courtyards communicates by passing under the loggias terraces that create a covered passage in front of the shared rooms.
Conviviality for all
Detail of the bench at the bottom of the collective circulations
The circulations are marked by periods of rest, games, reveries and vertical encounters.
Outdoors to live
Balconies, terraces, loggias, passageways
The exterior spaces are not all identical: there are a variety of railings (heights and materials), many possibilities for occupations, relationships with others and sense of orientation. In connection with the main rooms, they are additional living spaces offering different levels of privacy.
Solarium on all floors
Light and sun
Building facade material is sometimes in black plaster but the windows of the apartments all have external spaces with 3 sides with white coating (walls and roof parapet), composed by openwork railings or panels of light wood. Light is thus reflected both externally and internally.
Care to artificial lighting
Marking and architectural enhancement
Studied at a very early stage of the project, the iGuzzini lamps, used in public buildings or in the tertiary sector, has been integrated here into the architecture, replacing the usual lighting often used in social housing.