A change of skin, rehabilitation in Paris

ClientPhilippe Croisier
DesignerAtelier du Pont (Anne-Cécile Comar, Philippe Croisier, Stéphane Pertusier) Luc Pinsard, project manager Luc Pinsard and François Kharrat, site supervision
Prize2nd Place in Architecture Categories / Renovation
Entry Description

"Square Vitruve" is a real-estate project in co-ownership built on a concrete slab. Along with the construction of the tramway, the ongoing Major Urban Renovation Project for the Saint Blaise neighbourhood is opening up this forgotten corner of Paris. The major rehabilitation of this seriously degraded building containing 56 social housing units was carried out while it was in use in a highly complex urban, technical and statutory environment and has played a part in preserving the social fabric of a neighbourhood undergoing massive change. This intervention on the building’s shell has been conducted in constant dialogue with the city’s council and inhabitants in line with ambitious specifications. These specifications sought to confer a strong identity on the building, foster diversity, imagine new uses and improve the energy performance of a building whose occupants have described it as a “thermal sieve” in order to achieve Paris City Council’s Climate Plan. Basing its analysis on sun studies to assess the impact of the nearby high-rise buildings, Atelier du Pont suggested adding balconies wherever this made sense. This was a simple idea that was hard to put into practice, yet provided the apartments with outdoor areas and completely remodelled the architecture of the façades. Designed as a kind of clever, oversized Meccano kit on a site that cannot be accessed by heavy plant, this new skin was installed without putting machinery on the concrete slab and using no cranes or pods. The balconies are suspended from the roof, and all the materials and technical solutions have been designed to avoid overloading the existing structure and disrupting residents’ daily life.

About Designer

Atelier du Pont is a multipolar agency that combines public and private projects, architecture and town planning, interiors and exteriors, and reinvents itself with each new commission and encounter, developing an individual response to each specific context. This is a creative, serious, subtle interplay using a wide variety of colours, materials and styles to create spaces that are appropriate and imaginative, both outside time and of their time, life-enhancing for their users and inspiring for their designers. Anne-Cécile Comar, Philippe Croisier and Stéphane Pertusier are chartered architects. She trained at University of Paris 7 – Tolbiac, while they studied at ENSAIS in Strasbourg. Together, the three of them founded Atelier du Pont in 1997. They form a trio that is complementary, diverse and united. They work together, decide together and have the same tastes, despite being very different. There are currently 20 staff members and the team regularly welcomes interns from all kinds of backgrounds. Atelier du Pont is members of the PLAN01 and French Touch collectives.