It was at the end of an architectural competition (won), launched by the public Department Domaines, that our agency was able to transform the Caserne Saint-Didier, the former headquarters of the National Gendarmerie, dating from 1896, into a housing complex that includes 200 dwellings, Including family homes, rentals and student apartments. Along with a nursery of 60 cradles, a shop and two gardens, the project is a complete community and complex in the heart of the XVIth arrondissement of Paris.
Deciding to keep the Jules Ferry-style facade was central, therefore we rehabilitated it all the while punctuated with discreetly chiseled bonze-colored windows to reveal its essence. The two courtyards accessible from Saint Didier street and Sablons street, are framed by facades clad in a set of bricks reminiscent of the ornate patterns of the XIXth century, but transformed and exaggerated by a multitude of shimmering balconies reflecting their new environment. The apartments thus benefit from wide openings turned towards a natural source of light and eminent views of the district.
It is a contemporary architectural project concerned with history and its heritage but firmly turned towards the 21st century.