THERMOSOLAR PANELS ON A FACADE | Philippon-Kalt Architectes Urbanistes

17 council flats housing with innovative technology completed in the 18th arrondissement of Paris Paris / France / 2012

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Block of 12 flats and 5 maisonettes with 15 underground parking spaces

Very High Energy Performance - Cerqual profile A Certification


CONTRACTOR:                          SIEMP

GROSS FLOOR AREA:              1,490 M2

TOTAL COST OF WORK:          €2.8m before VAT

DELIVERY DATE:                       MARCH 2010



Architects:                  B. Philippon & J. Kalt

Engineering:                R. Lourdin & SLH

Acoustician:               J.P. Lamoureux

Economist:                  ECRH

The Philippon-Kalt architects firm has just delivered the first block of council flats, opposite the Barbès metro station, with a façade in solar thermal collectors.

 An atypical energy-efficient façade in a protected site 17 council flats designed for very low-income families have been built in a highly regulated area implementing innovative environmental technics.

The façade proudly displays its solar thermal collectors over the Boulevard de la Chapelle, capturing the free energy from the sun in order to supply 44% of hot water needs. A controlsystem checks the performance of the solar hot water production 

Solar thermal glass Robin Sun were used with a specific construction site notice for this project, in the absence of any technical advice.

Double skin, double use : the solar panels reflect the image of an energy-efficient atypical technical façade, within the protected area of listed monuments.

These preserves flats’ privacy, hiding them from view of the passengers on the elevated metro line. These also create

private balconies, with acoustic masks which form a screen wall, protecting them from the noise coming from the Boulevard

de la Chapelle.


Mixed structural forms and private external balconies for each flat The play of transparency in the hall, the views from the landings over the flower gardens and the location of the bicycle storage area in the middle of the project make for creating relations between the residents in the block of flats and those in the maisonettes.

The residents reach their flats from their private terraces, on the ground floor and the second floor. The flats overlooking the street have large bay windows opening on to south-facing balconies.

In autumn, the brilliant colours of the maple trees echo the red doors of the houses and the canvas that protects the bicycles from bad weather.


• Relevant environmental technicalmeasures

On the street side, because of thevery regulated environment (BR3classification due to the noise of the metro), the non-bearing façade comprises only the elements necessary for maximum thermal and acoustic insulation. It is covered with a facing in light-coloured thermo-lacquered steel to diffuse the light towards the inside of the flats, via the reflective

internal surface of the solar thermal collectors. In the courtyard, the usual principle of outside insulation was chosen and the terraces of the town houses are covered with plants.

For added environmental benefit, the rainwater will be stored, filtered and reused for watering and cleaning the common areas.



On a well-exposed plot of land, the façade reflects the environmental commitment of the contractors and the project managers and their desire to integrate the projectin the City. Located next to an undeveloped piece of land, the façade imitates the classic composition of Parisian façades in three parts. Here, the central part, marked out by a framework on the same scale as the façade, is separated from the base by the hollow joints of the black metal blades. The random positioning of the glass collectors of the captors gives the front of the building the look of an abstract composition, softening the materiality of the floor-bearing structure, reduced

to a fine line of aluminium. By collecting the sun’s energy, the whole façade comes to life with the weather conditions : the sun’s rays make the solar thermal collectors shine and project their shadows onto the inside of the balconies, and the clouds and the movements of the overhead metro trains are reflected in the glass panels. On the ground floor, the shop and the glass doors of the through hallway ensuring a fluid passage between the street and the indoor garden, add to the animation of this very busy boulevard in the Goutte d’Or district.



The 15th of June 2010, the Mayor of Paris attended an official press visit of the building in order to illustrate his campaign of struggle against unhealthy housing. Brigitte Philippon stated her architectural approach to him.

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    PROGRAMME: Block of 12 flats and 5 maisonettes with 15 underground parking spaces Very High Energy Performance - Cerqual profile A Certification   CONTRACTOR:                          SIEMP GROSS FLOOR AREA:              1,490 M2 TOTAL COST OF WORK:          €2.8m before VAT DELIVERY...

    Project details
    • Year 2012
    • Work started in 2011
    • Work finished in 2012
    • Client SIEMP
    • Cost 2.8 M€
    • Status Completed works
    • Type Apartments / Social Housing
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