In Vivo
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In Vivo

XTU architects as Architects

In Vivo wins the Réinventer.Paris competition for Paris Rive Gauche (M5A2) BPD Marignan and XTU Architects, associated with SNI Group and MU Architecture, will put up flagship buildings, clear proof of the integration of living matter and nature in the city. This genuine laboratory-building located on Boulevard des Maréchaux in the 13th district of Paris, will feature an active biofacade housing microalgae culture for medical research.


Rebuilding ties between citizens and with nature In view of the environmental and health impacts due to the soaring hyper-urbanization, the ending of fossil resources and rising inequalities, cities are facing a major issue of the 21st century: promoting social mix and openness between citizens and integrating nature into cities, to achieve a fairer, more sustainable and resilient society.


As a first step, the In Vivo project addresses this issue by creating an architectural and programming environment to foster porosity, social and functional mix, meetings and sharing among inhabitants, users, neighbours and Parisians of the Grand Paris: - creation of three different buildings focusing on natural views, exposures, lighting and ventilation, as well as an optimal urban integration - 13,000 m² for home ownership, intermediate housing and residence for students and young researchers - 1,200 m² for a third place open to all-comers - 255 m² for an alternative café - and more than 2,000 m² for vegetable and regular gardens


In Vivo: clear proof of the urban integration of living matter The In Vivo project is meant to be a manifesto for the innovative urban integration of nature and living matter with three buildings for humans and one for earthworms: - the Tree House: growing trees and bushes suited to host urban biodiversity on large flower box balconies on all its facades - the Plant House: dedicated to all forms of vegetable gardens and small-scale urban agriculture in loggias, under greenhouses or outdoor on rooftops - the AlgoHouse: integrating a microalgae-producing biofacade for medical research - the Lombric House: raising earthworms to allow the vermicomposting of inhabitants’ organic waste and culture conditioning


Microalgae-producing biofacade for medical research The Algo House will display a major innovation developed by XTU and the SymBIO2 consortium on the Boulevard du Général Jean Simon: a «biofacade». This new generation facade, operated by AlgoSource, will house microalgae cultures within «biological solar panels» (photobioreactors), providing valuable biomass for medical research. It is at the core of a research programme under consideration on active ingredients from microalgae for tomorrow’s bio-based medicines, bringing together the exceptional expertise of the neighbourhood in life sciences (Universities Paris 5, Paris 6 and Paris 7), and the University of Warsaw, under the guidance of the GEPEA laboratory of the University of Nantes. This productive biofacade will also allow the building to use the heat collected by the photobioreactors for domestic hot water and heating, causing energy consumption to drop below 48 kWh/m² per year, as part of the «Plan Climat de Paris». Following 7 years of R&D, a 200 m² industrial pilot is under construction in Champs-sur-Marne on the CSTB site, run by the VIRY company, a partner of SymBIO2. Overlooking the Boulevards des Maréchaux on the South-East gable of the future «young students-researchers» residence, this lit-at-night living facade will send a strong signal at the south entrance of the Massena neighbourhood and at the Massena - Bruneseau – Ivry junction.


A laboratory-building: innovation and citizen involvement activator As a driver of innovation at the heart of the In-Vivo project, animated by the open and people innovation laboratory «La Paillasse», this third place will allow block and neighbour residents, entrepreneurs from all walks of life, researchers, artists, life and city sciences lovers, to meet up, experiment and create in a 1,000m² welcoming space.


This people laboratory will be taken up in a much broader collaborative and participative process, at the neighbourhood level, designed and managed by the Centre Michel Serres and animated by organisations such as Toits Vivants (living roofs), along with Vergers Urbains (urban gardens) and the Collectif Babylone, services such as Mon P’ti Voisinage (my little neighbourhood), and also Street Art artists such as the association Le Mur.


A model of social mix Beyond its innovative aspects on architectural and environmental levels, the In Vivo project is a strengthened response from the SNI Group to meet the needs of housing in the Grand Paris area. As a model of social mix in the heart of the metropolis, the programme consists of : - 48 intermediate housing units in the Plant House, managed by the SNI Île-de-France, - 141 housing units for students and young researchers within the Algo House, managed by EFIDIS. BDP Marignan will also market 103 home ownership units located in the Tree House. « We strongly believe that housing of the future should work as the living world in order to restore harmony between them. The M5A2 site and the tremendous competencies and energies surrounding it will become the prime location for «In Vivo» experimentation. » Anouk Legendre, XTU

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