Le Grand Marais
Yohan Fontaine

Le Grand Marais

Ubalt Architectes as Architects

Le Grand Marais is a former 250sq data centre converted into a flat, located in a building dating from the 1970s on the outskirts of Le Marais in Paris. This building, belonging to the largest co-ownership in Paris, includes mixed programmes of offices, housing, amphitheatre, swimming pool, etc.

 

The first challenge of this project was therefore to evoke the 1970s inside the flat. This was notably achieved through the choice of materials: the omnipresent plexiglass, coloured metal joinery, iridescent curtains, concrete.

 

Moreover, this loft is located on the ground floor and overlooks the covered circulation of the building. This is the great particularity of this space, which is almost blind, with no view of the outside and little light. With this observation in mind, the project's intention was to intensify this phenomenon rather than to come up against it. Thus, the layout and distribution of the spaces have been designed with a view to concentration and focus. A buffer space entrance with the exterior serves three bedrooms, a bathroom and the living room while evoking an interior patio. The spaces are linked together, the material slides from one room to another, on the floor, on the wall or even as furniture. The materials echo each other to offer an identity and a staging to the spaces and in particular to the blind rooms of the flat.

 

In addition to the desire to make rigid spaces exuberant, the intensification of the project also involves the possibility for this space to be transformed to change its destination and become a showroom, a workplace or a place of awakening thanks to its double kitchen, laundry, storage spaces, projection room/gymnasium and bedrooms that can easily be transformed into meeting rooms.

 

Finally, the only substantial light entrance is located at the end of the flat where four skydomes are deployed. Here again, it is the intensification that is sought in the project: the terrace garden located above the premises enters through the zenital bays to become a planted jardiniere, until it drips into the flat. The whole project seeks to offer a dreamlike and self-sufficient universe.

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