PARIS – It is a rarity to find green spaces within the centre of a densely-built city like Paris. When local firm ECDM was appointed to construct a new building on the site of a large garden, they came to value this anomaly. The firm explains, ‘Above all is the garden, this protected and timeless area that we perceive, and that we will be able to make visible’. The scheme endeavours to achieve the client’s requirements, whilst making minimal impact on the garden.
The project brief consisted of two distinct requirements, with the first being to convert an existing building – which runs along the rear edge of the site – into 24 social housing apartments. The second requirment was to design a contemporary structure within the garden, containing 14 private ownership apartments. The new structure was nestled into the front corner of the plot, mimicking the proportions of a neighbouring building. Positioned on stilts to form distance between the ground and the residence, the structure stretches out over the garden. A sinuous façade minimises the building’s impact on the space, resulting in preservation of the majority of the plant-life. As a means to return to the site what greenery was removed by the structure’s footprint, the firm designed a garden spanning the roof of the new building. The roof garden also offers great views of the Parisian cityscape, including glimpses of the Eiffel Tower .
The apartment building takes on a contemporary character, reflected through the choice of materials. Glass and white steel panels enfold steel beams which hold the undulating form of the building. Windows are carefully positioned to ensure privacy from the busy street, whilst still allowing maximum light to enter the interior. Glass balustrades expose plants on the balconies, connecting the building to the park below.