PARIS – An innovative, crown-shaped building by Périphériques Architects, Cardinet-Quintessence is the result of forward-thinking design and innovative solutions for the combination of aesthetics and sustainability.

Completed in October last year, the building is the first block on the new development site Clichy Batignolles in Paris’s 17th district. According to the architects, ‘the essence of this project was to create an eco-friendly building that takes sustainable design to new heights while addressing the architectural challenges of a highly atypical urban area’.

After dueling over a number of questions, such as, ‘How do we create space and volume within the city’s increasingly cramped urban landscape?’ and ‘how do we redefine our whole creative process to design a building that produces energy instead of consuming it?’ the designers arrived at a simple, dynamic concept that allows for countless possibilities: the crown shape.

The compactness achieved through the ‘crown’ design was partnered with textured metal that envelopes the insulated façades and a number of other design strategies. A solar panel covered rooftop ensured that the ambitious requirements of comfort, performance and budget were met.

Besides producing 120NW each year, the photovoltaic panels that cover the roof of this 7315-sq-m housing block comprised of 97 private housing units and 20 social housing units, also contribute to the vibrant aesthetics of the building, creating playful, shimmering effects in the sunlight.

Paris-based studios Marin + Trottin and Anne-Françoise Jumeau have been collaborating in a number of projects as Périphériques Architects for the past 15 years. Their cutting-edge responses to architectural challenges have been widely recognized (see Mark 41 page 52).

Images courtesy of Sergio Grazia