Clichy-Batignolles ecodistrict, Paris, 17th arrondissement
From train tracks to an eco-neighborhood, green energy and gray matter
Formerly a railway enclave, the Clichy-Batignolles eco-neighborhood is reconquering this forgotten piece of Parisian ground. This major municipal project was envisioned as a response to the elevated need for housing while paving the way for a durable, mixed-use 21st century city. The buildings must therefore observe a rigorous set of environmental specifications to develop responsible energy processes and unique projects.
So much data had to be compiled to come up with solutions for a multi-program block (social housing, private housing, nursing home, a religious center, and retail businesses) that was to be executed a quattro mani (by Atelier du Pont and Jean Bocabeille Architects).
Designing the mixed-use city
This project is responsible in an environmental as well as a social sense. It proposes a program diversity and equity of treatment. There is horizontal as well as vertical diversity: programs overlap one another, sit next to one another, stick to one another, and face one another.
The nursing home is located at the very center of the block, which allows its residents to live in the heart of the “city” and benefit from its vitality.
The social housing and nursing home share a continuous façade along the new rue René Blum. Joined like Siamese twins, they wrap around the open center of the block. The ground level retail businesses are located on rue Cardinet, which helps enliven the neighborhood. The private housing building, which is connected to the nursing home by the garden, extends towards the parc Martin Luther King, the neighborhood’s green lung.
These programs contribute to the city’s growth with their high quality and symbolic significance. They embody the challenges of building a city based on density and mixed usages by proposing a fruitful cohabitation.
Collective intelligence, a response to density
Atelier du Pont and Jean Bocabeille Architects have accepted the challenge of creating a coherent and unique architectural complex that will have its own identity within the city. The project provides a strong architectural response to the challenges of urban density and new environmental requirements by creating collective strategies for the entire block.
The design of the private housing building frees up the field of view; it has the silhouette of a piton. The result is a large number of unrestricted vistas that open up the view and optimize the connections to the park. The nursing home’s “spiny” facade faces multiple directions and has many diagonal views while nevertheless maintaining a sense of intimacy to the spaces.
The project’s intelligence is the result of a complex play with scale and volumes that make it easier “to live well together.”
Atelier du Pont and Jean Bocabeille Architecte worked together on this mixed use project. Far from being an opportunistic arrangement for the project’s sake, their work is closely connected. The two firms share the same offices and often work together, especially through the collective Plan01.
Atelier du Pont is a multipolar agency that combines public and private projects, architecture and town planning, interiors and exteriors. It was founded in 1997 and currently consists of two partners (Anne-Cécile Comar and Philippe Croisier) and about twenty staff members from all kinds of background.
Jean Bocabeille Architecte is a multi-purpose architecture studio inspired by the quality of all forms and programs. This modus operandi knows no series, only a responsiveness to each situation: the consideration of the site, the determination to make “more than just a building,” and the use of architecture as a way to shape the city and breathe the spirit of non-conformism into it.