CoBe architecture et Paysage - Host Differently: Social residence refurbishment in Paris
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Host Differently: Social residence refurbishment in Paris

CoBe architecture et Paysage

Renovation  /  Completed
CoBe architecture et Paysage
The project located in Paris 14th arrondissement, is a refurbishment and a three levels raising of a narrow mixed-use services building, into a 37-unit residence, being the first building managed by the helping homeless organization in Paris.
Its refurbishment gave it a contemporary aspect, while nevertheless recalling the standards of a typical Parisian architecture, also allowing it to impose itself in its street, in its environment. The original facade has been replaced by a strong grey brick, the color of which changes according to the sun.
The very narrow plot has led to a strict optimization of the project, and the conservation of a large part of the existing structure.

In 2015, the client acquired a private property on a very narrow plot, a five-storey building housing a training facility and offices.
The choice quickly turned to the idea of creating a residence for the helping homeless organization.
For architect and client, the building is above all a story of understanding and cohesion between a designer and his client. It has been a common research to build housing for social use, for families in need, so that the lodgers of the center not only can find a roof, but a real place to live.
The refurbishment of a services building into collective housing reinforces the architect's vocation to rethink the city over the city, to produce housing without urban sprawl, to meet needs on unused sites, to generate positive innovations, to create better living.
For this center, the client received this year the ESSEC Award of the Hospitable City, for the project developed in this building: "Host differently, towards a new form of social housing for homeless families."

The choice of a mineral facade made of grey bricks was followed to give a visual strength to the building but also to ensure its durability by using a noble material already existing in its environment.
In order to respect the minimum separation distances, and to optimize the narrow plot, the building has been raised by three additional levels of apartments above the six existing levels, thus freeing large terraces around the common living rooms.
At the corner of the streets, the building is characterized by a beveled edge and thus draws an elegant prow in which are housed common living rooms with wide windows.
At the top of the building, this same angle is treated as a reversed-curve and produces an architectural landmark recognizable from afar, as well as two frames of windows move forward slightly to startle the northern façade, inspired by the architectures of the great Parisian avenues of the twentieth century. The proportions of the windows and their layout have been redesigned to display a regular rhythm of openings.

The center has private apartments and a shared apartment for young women, thus combining for the first time two types of publics to create a positive interaction.
The design of the program, the answers to the needs of future users, were enacted by consulting the inhabitants of other similar shelters to ensure the quality of use of the center. The accommodations have been designed to preserve the intimacy of each family, especially through parent corners and well-defined children's corners.
The accommodations are associated with common premises: kitchen, dining room, offices, living rooms, children's spaces, laundry, furnished by an interior designer. The creation of additional windows to the original project made it possible to light up each dwelling as much as possible. A maximum of accommodations has an outdoor space, whether it is a terrace, a balcony, or a garden.

The addition of three concrete levels above the existing building required a reinforcement of the existing infrastructure.
In order to minimize the impact on the existing structure and surface, it was decided to create a second hand-moulded grey brick facade on the Ridder and Vercingétorix streets to allow outer insulation with glass wool between the original reinforced concrete façade and the new brick façade. The bays are treated with aluminum frames to support the grey and silver tones of the facade. The metal railings protecting all windows, balconies, and terraces, take up a recurring pattern of Parisian residential architectures.

On the ground floor, some bricks are moving back from the nude of the building to create a discreet pattern that emphasizes the building at the corner of the two streets. On the other hand, the railings of the last three levels adapt their color into a copper oxide’s green-grey to throw the silhouette of the building to the sky.


 Groupe Galia
 1580 mq
 CoBe Architecture et Paysage
 Raphaël Denis, Alexandre Jonvel, Martin Lemerre, Fabrice Taillandier (CoBe), Kristian Gavoille (interior designer)
 CoBe Architecture et Paysage
 Luc Boegly


CoBe combines architecture, urban planning, landscaping, construction management and design, integrates in the creations, draws the ability to correct ruptures, to create new links, to look to the future through its cross skills with benevolence and confidence.

Created in 2002 by Alexandre Jonvel, Raphael Denis, and Martin Lemerre, CoBe has expanded with a landscape partner, Luc Moneger in 2011, and a construction managing partner, Fabrice Taillandier in 2017. In 2021 CoBe is expanding its field of action even further by celebrating the opening of its design division.

In Paris, Oporto, Bordeaux, CoBe works with many territories that surround these cities, all of which claim a history, a singular culture, a landscape tone, a practice of architecture and construction, a way of life of its inhabitants.

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