Social Housing in Paris by RMDM

Social Housing in Paris by RMDM

Architects: RMDM Architectes
Project team: RMDM (agent) / LGX (engineering firm & economy)
Area: 780 sqm
Photography: Cecile Septet
Location: Paris, France

RMDM’s first social housing development establishes a unique building envelope on an enclosed urban block undergoing radical transformation. The program consists of two buildings with five apartments (located at 5 and 9 Impasse Dupuy respectively) and is in line with the policy fighting against the unhealthiness of the City of Paris. It offers contemporary and comfortable housing in the heart of the 18th district to those on lower incomes.

Urban context
The Social Housing in Paris particularity lies in both the division of the land into two lots and the size of these lots (small at less than 250sqm each). The Impasse Dupuy is a small street less than 4 meters wide that opens onto rue Philippe de Girard. Within this very dense fabric, we have sought to enlarge the area.

Architectural response
Designed in a U-shape around patios and freeing up a green space along the edge of the street, each plot offers largely glazed double-oriented apartments that open onto the outside to get maximum benefit from natural light. The living rooms overlook the public spaces and contribute to the vitality of urban life. The buildings are clad with coated aluminum cassette panel cladding in three shades from grey to white.
Plain panels on the standard sections alternate with perforated panels on the railings and the hinged shutters animate the façade according to the degree of opening, whilst also providing protection from the summer sun and maintaining the residents’ privacy. The gable received special attention and was afforded the same treatment as the façade due to its importance in the building’s perception and its impact on the landscape of the cul-de-sac.

On the first floor is a three-bedroom (T4) apartment with regulation-compliant disabled access, and suitably equipped from the outset. This apartment also benefits from a private small courtyard. The floors above house a studio (T1) and two-bedroom (T3) apartment on either side of a central staircase. The latter enjoys natural lighting. The main building overlooking the street is built on a basement where the cellars that every apartment boasts can be found, along with the storeroom, the meter room, and the boiler room. The recycling room is directly accessible from the outside, near to the entrance hall. The bike room is accessible from the hall.

Environmental Qualities
Separated from the cul-de-sac by a painted metal fence, the space freed up has been planted with low-growing trees and shrubs to bring greenery to an environment which today is exclusively mineral (Cornus Kousa, cornus Alba…). The low-pitched roof is equipped with thermal solar panels that provide some of the hot water production. The two rear wings have terraced roofs. The building is insulated from the outside and the heating is provided by a gas condensing shared boiler. All of the apartments are fitted with Type B hydro-adjustable mechanical ventilation systems. The building holds a Habitat & Environment Profile A certification (Habitat & Environnement profil A option performance), in addition to the Very High Energy Performance (THPE EnR) 2005 certification (Benchmark Consumption -30%). It was built according to the “clean site” charter.

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