The project has been designed as a unique object, both imposing and securing in comparison with the scale of the neighbouring buildings. Its geometry makes it both streamlined and easy to locate.
“We had in mind to occupy the crossroads with a mute presence - an object both mute and charismatic. Hence, the duo-tone coming to close the boulevard of La Villette with a black pillar closing the street of Boulevard de la Villette, and this chiseled shape white and nacred reflecting, and like a cornerstone, both closing and engaging a dialog with the elevated railway, the rue du Faubourg Saint Martin.” (Julien Rousseau)
The building is bicolored in order to articulate two directions and emphasize the housing entrance. The main volume, at the angle of rue du Faubourg Saint Martin and the boulevard de la Villette, is treated with a subtle mix of light greyish tiles. The second volume, which is in direct relationship with the rue de l’Aqueduc and the boulevard de la Villette, is treated with a mix of dark tiles. The same material has been chosen to cover the roof and the facades, which gives the building a monolithic and distinctive look when being a part of the existing urban environment. The glazed surface finish diminishes the deposits from the air pollution and the facades are designed to clean themselves naturally with the rain.
The facades of the building blend in with the pre-existing alignment and height of the neighbouring buildings. The inclination of the roof of the main volume marks the uniqueness of our project though and gives it a dynamic form in adequacy with the energy of the surrounding neighbourhood. High environmental requirements have made the building both compact and energy efficient. It is isolated from the exterior and directly connected to the local urban heating system (CPCU). The roof is covered with solar panels which provide almost half of the warm water requirement. On the basis of these elements, the project has been labelled “BBC Effinergie” (<50kWh/m²a according to the Climate plan of the City of Paris) and has an unusually low carbon footprint.