Vaugirard Social Housing, the first completed project in Paris by Basel-based architecture firm Christ & Gantenbein, showcases a unique approach to reinvigorating the city. Collaborating with Margot-Duclot Architects, the project is part of a larger master plan that combines housing with a remodeled subway maintenance workshop to create a sense of community and urban diversity. The project introduces a new street in Paris, opening up previously inaccessible areas of the city.
The design of the Vaugirard Social Housing is inspired by extensive research conducted by Christ & Gantenbein on Parisian housing typologies. The architects took into account strategies to optimize access to light and ventilation while creating identity within dense urban living. The result is a building with a rhythmic volumetry and a metal-clad facade.
The project features a concrete framework complemented by large, prefabricated wooden elements. The use of wood not only lightens the construction and reduces costs but also improves the building’s ecological footprint. The metal facade, coated with a transparent varnish, gives a raw touch to the structure and pays homage to Parisian rooftops. The design references elements of traditional Haussmannian architecture, incorporating familiar elements in a contemporary context.
Inside the building, there are 104 units spread across five floors, following a logement à vie model, meaning residents have lifetime tenure. The apartments range from studio to five-room layouts, and their orientations take advantage of the building’s positioning. The architects have created diverse and articulated plans that feature transversal and diagonal views, breaking away from the repetitive units typically found in social housing. Each apartment is equipped with a balcony or loggia, offering residents spacious interiors and improving their quality of life.
Overall, the Vaugirard Social Housing project is a successful collaboration between Christ & Gantenbein and Margot-Duclot Architects. By combining innovative design with functionality, the project breathes new life into the urban fabric of Paris, while providing high-quality housing for its residents.
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