2008 - Boulogne, Paris

Vertical housing estate system

The apartment-houses/house-buildings are rooted in the fictional yet paradigmatic archetype of the house as a microcosm that creates a connection with the macrocosm. In them, the poetic quest is paramount. They generate distinctive locations but also community within a diversified whole – something a vernacular architecture has managed to produce over time.

In this way they try to counter the pitfalls of claustrophobia and dispersal. They seek harmony with the urban environment through a compact layout that places maximum emphasis on the continuum between inside and outside. Home will be more than a shelter. A space-time of privacy and community, of closeness to and distance from the landscape, of mobility and stability, the dimensions physically embody the rhythms of day-to-day life. To be with others whilst having a hallway like a townhouse, to be able to install a table, chairs, to walk in the open air… The opposition between the indoor and outdoor world is removed. It is being able to live in the city while experiencing the rhythms of nature: day, night, seasons, the connection with the sky, the plant world.

Our scheme is a vertical housing estate system that provides private non-dwelling areas as an alternative to the traditional detached housing estate. It introduces a combination of “houses” of different sizes contained within a rhomboid with a shape coefficient close to that of a cube, which occupies half the volume of the plot. The other half is given over to outdoor extensions, terraces and elevated gardens, which form a vertical landscape. Each dwelling has the features of a detached house: large outdoor extensions that can be used for various purposes (vegetables, chickens, arbour, etc.), outside access, an individual “garden shed” that residents can adapt as they want, the possibility of cycling right to the front door, etc

This project was implemented as part of a commission given to 8 architects by the Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine, on the theme of “Dense Eco-responsible Housing”. These projects were grouped in a section of the touring exhibition “Ecological Living”, curated by Dominique Gauzin-Müller, which opened at the Cité de l’Architecture.

Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine

1082 m²

€2500 per m² of living space, excluding VAT
These costings include all the technical environmental systems described (option 1 – single flow and double glazing), impact of parking, terraces and cabins.

Boulogne (Paris)

Project management
Hérault Arnod Architectes, lead architects
Camille Bérar, project manager
Chris Younés, philosopher
Inex, fluids
Michel Forgue, economist

Research project october 2008

Research project for the “Environmental Living” exhibition. Modular flats.

Atelier Fau

Hérault Arnod