This major housing project, with ground-floor shopping, lies in Asnières-sur-Seine, in the Haut-de-Seine Department in the northern part of Greater Paris, beyond the Seine. It will have a major urban and architectural impact on the area.
The project has 183 units, with 144 for low-cost housing and 39 social housing units. The sizes range quite significantly, with 5 different options, from the smallest studio apartments (27 m2) to units with two or three rooms (up to 90 m2). The smallest units tend to have a single, open-plan kitchen and living area. The basement-level parking lot has 192 spaces.
The lot is trapezoidal in shape, with several defining elements. The longest side, on the west, runs along the suburban rail line, while the northern side, the shortest, looks onto a square linked to a major road, beyond which is a train station.
The complex develops longitudinally, with three blocks (two are separate, while the third is actually two adjacent buildings, forming an 'overall' L-shape) along the western side, along the rapid transit line. Such an arrangement creates parallel and longitudinal zones, with the built section and the internal garden area.
The decisions at the basis of the design are critical. The first is the creation of an architectural identity that, by placing emphasis on certain aspects, gives the complex a specific identity in this urban context. The second is a desire to assess the very elements used in the architecture and the construction: the materials, the influence of visual references and perception and the relations formed with a whole series of other material and symbolic aspects. The goal is to make the building both creative and functional, expanding the rational/creative debate among everyone involved in the design and construction processes - including architects, artisans and companies - to enrich the lived environment. Rational simplicity and an almost poetic aspiration are combined to create a complex building that interprets the changes of modern society to offer a style of urban living.
The artisan approach is central in the design, and in the choice and interaction of materials, influencing the final artistic and architectonic result and the quality of living. The complex is also clearly identifiable, especially through the adoption of façade elements that help add meaning to the design both through the choice of materials and the technical determination of adjacent aspects, which pushes the viewer to focus on the details of the individual elements. The composition of the elevations also helps to partially "dematerialise" the structure, with the effect emphasised through the top floors being slightly set back to create terrace space. The façades are a fabric of sensations created by using "diamond-shaped" ceramic slabs, flat ceramic slabs, coatings, and Murano glass. The overall pattern produces an interplay between the walls themselves and, especially in the mixed areas, a changing effect as the light alters. This adds an additional dynamic - a connection to the sky, which changes and influences the appearance of the land below. The light emphasises the materials and shapes, suggesting a new approach to architectural decorum that facilitates the creation a set of values - for perception and the living experience - and shows a viable option for adding a specific identity in an urban project. The design draws on techniques, from art and craftsmanship, to explore the potential of materials and create views and "unexpected" elements. High up on the buildings, where the terraces are, sculptures gradually become visible to the viewer. These six little angels - putti - look down on the city landscape from above and, through this, suggest visions and provide references to decorum, an ancient concept that becomes contemporary when applied to the modern urban fabric.
Location: Asnières-Sur-Seine, France
Client: SCI Asnières Seine AB représentée par COFFIM, Eiffage Immobilier IDF
Cost of Construction: 19,300,000.00 Euro
Gross Floor Area: 10,518 m2
Architects: 5+1AA Alfonso Femia Gianluca Peluffo
Design Team: Etienne Bourdais, Roxana Calugar, Simonetta Cenci, Alfonso Femia, Sara Massa, Marzia Menini, Gianluca Peluffo, Aude Robert, Francesca Recagno, Francesca R. Pirrello, Nicola Spinetto, Sara Traverso
Contractor: Eiffage Construction
Structural: Eiffage Construction
Technical Systems: I.D. BATI
Glass Cladding: Ferro Murano
Ceramic Cladding: Casalgrande Padana
Flooring and Coverings: Casalgrande Padana
Photography: © Luc Boegly
5+1AA Alfonso Femia Gianluca Peluffo
The founders of Studio 5+1AA confront the contemporary in the way they address the relationship between territory, city and architecture, constructing this relationship as a representation of reality.
The perception and the transformation of reality are the keys to a conception of architecture as both body and idea, at once real and emotional, pragmatic and sensual, acceptable and yet also capable of engendering wonder as a catalyst of new understanding.
They founded 5+1 in 1995 and since then they have been dealing with design in its different thematic and functional declinations (the city, the living, the work spaces, the spaces for culture and education) carrying out several projects in Italy and France. The research on the contemporary city has been carried out along with the requalification of urban spaces and significant buildings in the main italian and mediterranean cities: Milan, Rome, Turin, Venice, Florence, Genoa, Marseille, Tangeri, Algeri, Istanbul and Cairo. They aso leads the studio to the development of several strategic master plans including the one with which Milan won the "Expo 2015".
The studio, that became 5+1AA agenzia di architettura in 2005, is based on a interdisciplinary relationship that develops itself between the studios of Genoa, Milan (2006) and Paris (2007), creating a triangle between cities, cultures and confrontation.
In 2015, the Agency won the competition for the construction of a student housing, a hotel and a building of offices in Créteil-l’Echat for the SGP (Société Grand Paris), and for the Master Plan “il Monte Galala” in El Sokhna, Egypt .
They also completed the projects for the redevelopment of the Marseilles Docks and of the IVth Lot of Ministry of Interior Headquarters in Rome.