This linear site, with its unusual geometry, is a left-over, interstitial space generated by the limit between Paris and Pantin, a space on the edge of an undefined territory. This geometric configuration of space creates the opportunity for an architecture of the limit, a long, unfolding screen revealing the distinction between the metropolis and its suburbs. At the same time, our main consideration was to reinterpret this notion of the limit into something open and porous. Using void as the primary element of the project, we create a limit that creates links more than it separates. The project was seen as a way to rethink the relationship between sub-peripheral territories, hybridizing parallel landscapes into an articulation of successive strata. Void manifests itself as a series of horizontal and vertical openings, transforming the limit into a passage, a crossing. Void structures the project, maintaining the built mass in a state of levitation, revealing the horizon, bringing meaning to this undetermined and uncertain landscape organized by infrastructures. Our project brings together the two main characteristics of the site, the presence of imposing, solid built masses and the indefinite, fleeting landscape of the peripheric boulevard.
An earthly base anchors the project to the street and the neighborhood, emerging from the ground and dealing with the level difference created by the elevated boulevard. This base, covering the integrity of the site, covered with greenery, becomes a vertical garden, merging itself into the landscape.
The program is repetitive by nature: 190 student rooms, for 190 students of the same age, with the same education level. We do not try to confront this repetition but rather we create unity and identity, bringing together these 190 individualities. The repetition of a common module generates the façades, creating a monolithic image, contrasting with the lightness and aerial nature of the project.