Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
STUDENT HOUSING AND NURSERY FOR PARIS in France by VIB Architecture
November 12th, 2015 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: VIB Architecture
At 117 rue de Ménilmontant, among the many atypical architecture of the neighborhood, VIB Architecture has taken possession of a plot while long to build more buildings, new or rehabilitated, responding to a varied program of student accommodation and a manger.
Besides its unique position in one of the two hills of Paris, Belleville district is characterized by a great heterogeneity of its urban spaces and its architectures. There are buildings from different eras, different heights and functions: Pavilion Square Baudouin, “madness” built in the eighteenth century as a place of pleasure and resort park which has now been made public, a former orphanage, buildings of Haussmann apartments or small houses and workshops suburb.
Further down the house of 113 rue de Ménilmontant marks the entrance to the “city of the Hermitage,” a private passage that irrigates the island in depth. On the same site, at 117 rue de Ménilmontant, a timber framed building occupying the middle and should be retained, thus cutting the plot into two parts, a street side and one on the inside of the island.
From this constraint, we have resolved to distribute the project in several buildings: a restructured building and two new buildings, which individually meet their specific contexts and thus participate in the varied picture of the “village of Belleville.”
Urban constraints governing the building along the street Ménilmontant differ from those governing bottom of plot construction. While the PLU Regulation to mount up to seven floors on the ground floor street side, corresponding to the highest buildings in front, any construction beyond three levels seems difficult in bottom of plot, in a heterogeneous environment rather low.
Given this difference of building volumes and programmatic differences between a set of student housing and a nursery for young children, it seemed appropriate to establish the background nursery plot and entry into housing. The building at the center timbered thus lies in a transition position, occupied by two functions.
To blend in the immediate vicinity, the building of students is divided into two parts: one facing the Baldwin Park Square and one that leans to neighboring buildings. The park side volume is distinguished by its expression with rounded corners and trim in anodised aluminum. The second volume contains the most cubic volumetric language of neighboring buildings with a graduation in height which declines toward the center of the plot where it binds to the timber-framed building.
The two volumes of the street on the building, the floors connected, form the ground floor an airy entrance porch that leads to the bottom of the field where the nursery is located. It is located in the heart of island, the sunniest location of the plot and form an open place protected garden. By its location, highly motivated by the major views of adjacent buildings, it closes the AGE of the playground – Educational Association Groupings neighbor and creates two distinct green space on the plot: garden nursery and a common garden the whole operation.
The succession of different buildings in the depth of the plot refers to the “Cité de l’Ermitage” and cutting the building on street in two volumes to all students of 109 housing units, a little further down the rue de Ménilmontant. The project plays with sequences of spaces and volumes that interact with their environment.
This is in view of these constraints and the urban architectural choices that the project left in three buildings.
The entrance building
The ground floor of the CROUS building is designed by the site flow constraints: notably through the pedestrian crossing to the manger and vehicular and pedestrian access to the neighboring yard.
The central passage for access to the nursery is reserved for pedestrians. It can be controlled from the lodge CROUS, located at the entrance, in access to the hall, the student common room and bicycle parking.
Access to student housing is through a central core that serves all levels. The staircase is glazed on each floor to allow interstage in use, and facilitate exchanges between students without imposing the use of the lift. The wing side of the park building, clad in metal, hosts 49 students, all PMR, on 7 floors, while the other wing extension of the half-timbered building houses 32 students in 7 steps and offers a 5th level Common roof terrace with panoramic views over Paris.
After passing under the porch of the CROUS, parents, children and the nursery staff through a common landscaped garden. This is thought of as a place of transition between the street and the Early Universe.
In extension of the reception area is the motor room with a double transparency in the common garden and the garden of the nursery, which creates a spatial and landscape continuity. Motor room is directly connected with the living water games. Since the reception, past the office of the Director, it joins an interior gallery on two levels which organizes the building in its length. Generously sized and lit naturally, it is a space of great games in the rainy season.
Along this gallery is on the ground floor rooms of the small section which open walk-on kindergarten. Given the sensitivity of young children to direct sunlight, these rooms and part of the garden are sheltered under a large courtyard formed by the upstairs terrace.
The awakening rooms average and the large section on the floor each open on this common terrace which is directly connected to the kindergarten by an external staircase.
From the garden, you can see the floor whereabouts before the rooms of the large volume section and a roof formed by the housing of the Director, which gives view of the surrounding rooftops.
Landscape: A garden that unites the outdoor spaces.
All the amenities of outdoor spaces housing and the crib is considered as a unified garden, creating connections with the open spaces of the neighboring island and street Ménilmontant. The garden softens urban, landscape and domestic scales by aggregating. It clearly defines the status of public spaces, public and private.
The shapes of the two gardens are from a graphical interpretation of the topography of the hill of Belleville. An archipelago of gardens gives relief to outdoor spaces.
The home garden stretches towards the interior of the plot asphalted Parisian ground and the transition between the public space of the street and the interior of buildings. Places of separations and reunions crèche are preserved transition: public entrances to the buildings are built of gardened vestibules that offer a seat and a space where we can meet, pause, talk.
The Garden of the nursery offers a wide imaginary geography of children, game elements, movements of grassy soil and soft soil.
A series of islands, hills, games items or designs in soft floor provides a protective setting where children can compete in space literally.
The Paris based multicultural team comprises around twenty architects. Depending on project programs and complexity, they can expand their design team with specialists and partners with expertise in landscaping, engineering, economy, and acoustic or scenography – that fit their creative and sustainable way of design.
Over the years, vib architecture has acquired serious experience in the design and build of multiple projects, including offices, residential, research centers, educational or cultural facilities throughout France, in places like Paris, Versailles, Toulouse, Caen, Bordeaux or Strasbourg.
The office first appeared on the international radar in 2005 in receiving the “Prix de la 1ere oeuvre” by the Moniteur, for a Brain Imagery Research Center built in Caen, for which one they received significant attention from the architectural press. Since then, it developped its reputation thanks to several outstanding projects like the rehabilitation and the extension of the Architecture School in Versailles or the construction of the CRCT – Research Center on Cancer in Toulouse in 2014. The same year, the agency signes another completion in paris : the project Silos 13.
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