Flexibility and a mix of functions characterise the Parisian social housing

Dietmar Feichtinger architects opt for a modular composition

by Malcolm Clark
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The ZAC Claude Bernard residential complex designed by Dietmar Feichtinger Architectes is located in a recently developed area to the north of Paris.

The new building contains 93 apartments, a school complex, offices, commercial premises and facilities.

The main volume measures 45 x 32 metres and covers 10 stories. It includes a small central patio lit up with natural light. The ground floor of the building contains shops, while the first floor is entirely dedicated to offices.

Two underground stories are used as car parks containing 78 parking places, storerooms, as well as sectors for bicycles.

The apartments are arranged in a grid of 3m 20 which offers a large variety of types and sizes, ranging from a single room studio to large 4-5 room flats.

The choice of a modular plan guarantees the possibility of combining apartments and adjusting them to future generational requirements.

All the flats have a double aspect and open spaces like balconies, loggias and terraces which provide a natural enlargement of the living area.

The use of polycarbonate panels of three different grades of translucency for the outer skin provides external insulation, while the integration of solar panels in the roof provides the flats' hot water.

The transparent outer skin of the building allows the eye to penetrate beyond the skin itself, while the thin layer of film behind the panels provides depth while making the background uniform: Reflected sunlight gives the building a special flair and elegance.

The façade at the base of the building corresponding to the shops and offices, on the other hand, is made up of concrete panels alternating with glass.

A workshop block 5 metres high is located in the courtyard facing the main building, it also includes a delivery area for small trucks.

    ZAC Claude Bernard 12

    ZAC Claude Bernard

    Paris / France / 2011