Philippon Kalt Architectes Urbanistes as Architects


Adoma manages 404 social residences in France. 

Formerly Sonacotra homes, these housing estates initially dedicated to migrant workers of the Maghreb or sub-Saharan origin started in the 1950s. The rooms, most often shared, welcomed 3 to 4 residents. The common lavatories gathered on each floor, and the shared kitchen allowed the inhabitants to meet and share meals.

The population ageing and the need to bring old buildings to fire standards and provide disabled access have led Adoma management to re-examine their park.

Construction / demolition operations

Scheduled throughout France, they aim to improve the living environment of residents by relocating them on-site in studios and one-bed apartments.

They also offer the opportunity to accommodate single women with or without children who currently don’t have access to this type of social housing.

The operation Adoma Péan/Masséna

It is included in the plan initiated by Adoma and the City of Paris to transform migrant workers’ hostel into social residences.

The property complex of two 9-storey towers, joined by a shared staircase, dates back to the ‘70s. It originally had 360 beds divided into 120 single rooms and 80 3-people rooms.

Operation Masséna / Péan, initiated in 2013, will include 380 studios divided into two buildings in 2021.

The work will be carried out in 4 phases:

- the demolition of the 120-bed tower,

- the construction of the Résidence Péan of 230 studios,

- the demolition of the 240-bed tower,

- the construction of the Résidence Masséna of 150 studios.

The mission entrusted to the Philippon-Kalt firm includes setting up the overall project and assisting Adoma with the selection of the architect for the second residence. 

Péan, the first residence has been contracted to the agency Philippon -Kalt; the second, Masséna, to the agency Saison - Menu.


The urban project proposed for the entire plot respects the characteristics of the HBMs (rent reduced accommodations): built

around an inner garden, facade aligned with other structures, 7 storeys buildings, cut-side at the corner of the street.

The new project emphasises the outline of the plot with the built-up facade of two independent buildings: Péan and Masséna.

The first, Péan, presents a contemporary style that echoes the surrounding HBMs, built between 1926 and 1939. Brick facades characterise this second generation of HBM with grey cement base and bay windows emphasised with a white frame.

The project reinterprets this vocabulary through a perforated sheet metal facade in the tone with the surrounding brickwork.

On the upper floors, the black rain cover creates an impression of density and materiality that brings out the reading of horizontal lines. On the ground floor, the black background gives way to a polished aluminium sheet. This durable material, justified for the base, more exposed to deterioration, offers a changing perception of the facade depending on the sun and viewpoint.

On the roof, the silhouette with broken lines of the acroterium, made of perforated sheet metal, fades into the Parisian sky.

The treatment of the holes echoes the bow windows of HBM. The window edges animate the facade with a play of shadow.

The woodwork, treated with natural anodised aluminium, creates a clear frame around the dark bays

The grouping of the openings and the irregular rhythm of the bays facilitate the integration of this dense social programme in the district by making the number of dwellings undetectable. The glass panels are made of bays and shadow boxes. The latter revealed at night by the studios’ interior lighting.


Communal areas mostly open to the public space

On the ground floor, communal areas partake to the animation of the public space.

Wood is used in all spaces: to identify the dwelling doors and to create a warmer interior by dressing the bay windows’ frame. On the ground floor, the ceiling of the common areas is covered with wooden panels that soften the artificial lighting. In the centre of the building, the inner garden follows the topography of the ground offering a vegetation carpet.

A silkscreen fresco

The city council of Paris’s 13th district holds easy access to culture and art very highly, organising events and artistic journeys throughout the city. Contributing to the development of urban art the silkscreen fresco-onglass facade integrates the social programme within the creative initiative.


 “The new social residence is part of this artistic and social dynamic.

A curtain wall closes the building boulevard Masséna. 

This continuous wall surface provides an ideal location for a silkscreening visible from the public space but also from inside the building The glass contrasts with the perforated panel, lightening the facade. 

The glass wall brings brightness to the offices and the residents’ shared spaces. The silkscreening acts as a visual filter.

The fresco incorporates 3 shades of whites that form three distinct planes, playing with transparency and the superimposition of several landscapes. These three opacities answer two important issues: residents’ privacy and the need for natural light.

This silkscreening offers two readings. The first is noticeable close to the wall, bringing texture to the glass with a vegetal graphic, in which everyone sees what they wish. The second takes shape when one stands at a distance, both from the inside or the outside, when portraits appear among the plants.

These two readings answer each other and contribute to the overall perception of the artistic project.“  MK 2017


Bright spaces and cosy ambiance

Improving the quality of communal spaces and limiting the use of artificial lighting, each section of the interior corridor and the metal stairwell are naturally lit, opening up views onto this wooded area of Paris.

The broken lines of the corridors animate and expanse them. Light colours are favoured with raw concrete and white painted walls, enhanced by signage of golden lines that connects all studios.

A collegiate decision retained two colours for the corridors flooring, facilitating the identification of the even and odd storeys: a bright acid green and a deep red.

Illuminated circulations

A path guided by the signage

“One of the objectives of the signage is to offer each resident some reassuring landmarks, as many supports on which to lean their progress towards greater autonomy. These landmarks are both spatial and tangible, but also regulatory and symbolic.

Directional signage that stands out, to come and meet residents, as a line, line of life, of conduct, breadcrumb trail. A link between the various dwellings and their occupants as a counterpoint to fragmentation and atomisation.

The line and the point express the rhythm and the movement, the progress, the writing or the music.

This line articulates the different elements of the signage device.

Starting from the floor registers, it irrigates the corridor and places the directional beacons and house numbers.

It can be more or less pronounced, either by a tube or a metal plate running along the corridors, by a line of paint or just suggested by the spatial arrangement of the descriptive supports on both sides of

this horizon”

Catherine Nicolas - Schultz


Housing privacy

Housing on the ground floor, benefiting from the natural slope of the terrain, are raised to 1.20 m minimum over the public outdoor space. 30 studios have a double orientation with two or three bays; no studio is facing north only.

The protruding bays, with window ledge, stretch over the width of the living rooms expanding the interior spaces and ensuring best sunlight. Net curtains and internal roller shutter preserve residents’ privacy furthermore.

Optimised space

The bays, protruding from the facade, offer a large tablet for the residents; an extra space not counted in the living area floor calculation (Shab).

At the request of future residents, a door was added between the kitchenette and the studio living area.

Sliding like the bathroom’s door, it can retract completely, without encroaching on the interior space.

Fixed glazing inserted in the partition separating living area and kitchenette let natural light flows throughout the entire studio, once the separation door is closed

The mirror on the front door reflects light and landscape, and expand further the interior space.

The heated floor frees the walls of the studios optimising the living space


Subsequent versatility of the building

The no weight bearing walls building system allows for further evolution of the dwellings, from studio to one or two-bed flat, at a later stage. 

Reduced loads 

Reinforced external insulation favours the building inertia, classified in Climate Plan. Solar collectors on the terrace provide domestic hot water, the first source of energy expenditure in a well-insulated building.

The natural lighting of rooms in the first or second day limiting the use of artificial lighting is the leitmotif of the project.

Prefabrication at the service of the quality of finishes.

The choice of standardised and prefabricated systems was led by a double objective, an irreproachable quality finishes and to time-save on delivery.

It is available on different components of the construction:

- the frame carrying precast walls and precast slabs,

- pressed sheet metal facade,

- 230 prefabricated bathrooms.

Two models of bathrooms were chosen: standard and disabled access (5% of the units). Built at the beginning of the project following a traditional implementation of the various components, they were delivered with their protection as the overall building progressed, floor by floor.

optimisation &prefabrication

prefabricated bathrooms

load-bearing precast facade

load-bearing precast facade

precast walls - internal corridors


Technicity and companies expertise

Facade covered with perforated aluminium panels. The oblong perforations create a visual vibration and introduce horizontal lines that echo those of the brickwork.

The plates are lacquered with a manual process of application of three successive layers of powder and water to create texture and colour tones variations.

At the angle of the bow windows, the sheet is perforated and stamped while respecting the regular frame of the holes.

On the ground floor, shiny polished aluminium panels close the perforations and lighten the facade. The changing effects of the polished material lighten the base of the building.

The fifth facade

The technical roof of the building considered as the fifth façade of the residence was designed with a lot of consideration.

Solar tubes cover 12% of the roof. They generate 30.4% of residents’ hot water needs. Set 90 cm from the ground, they

mask the openings and ventilation ducts.

The air extraction machinery is integrated into the single kiosk, serving as access to the terrace.

The perforated sheets placed in front of the security guards keep the continuity of the facade. The perforations reveal the plants covering all of the free parts of the roof terrace.


Total surface: 6,000 m² SP, 4,427 m² SHAB (living space)

Building cost: €12,6 M HT

Label: Certification H&E, Profile A

Real performance: Climate Plan Paris

Schedule: Delivery 2018

Commissioned by: ADOMA

Architects : Philippon - Kalt Architectes

Aurélie-Anne Vincent, design phase project manager

Peggy Guilbert, building phase project manager

Christophe Vieira

Engineering consulting firm: BERIM

Building economist: Becri S.A.

Landscape : AC&T Paysages & Territoires

Consortium of companies: SICRA

RAIMOND (facade)

ALUVAL (Exterior joinery)

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