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.
Résidence Planchette in Paris, France by AZC Architectes
August 31st, 2016 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: AZC Architectes
An urban health center, for the autonomy and involvement of people with disabilities in the city of Paris.
This project provides sheltered housing for frail, elderly residents with a variety of disabilities. The building comprises individual studio apartments, communal areas and medical consultation rooms for residents and out-patients.
To understand the project one must understand the history of the site at 232 Rue de Charenton in south-eastern Paris, along the side of which runs a passage that can be found on city plans as far back as 1789, at which time it led to cultivated fields. Fraught with real-estate related tension due to the complex planning laws in Paris and the Bercy neighbourhood, the project took seven years to see the light of day.
The site is surrounded by high buildings that cast their shadows, and cramped by a house on the corner whose owner refuses to sell. Nonetheless, the orientation is interesting and planning laws are moving in the right direction. To the north, on the Rue de Charenton, we were able to build to six storeys, to the south, at the heart of the block, up to three storeys.
The relationship between the occupants and the city was one of our foremost concerns. On the ground floor on Rue de Charenton is the entrance hall, on the Ruelle de la Planchette is a service entrance, and between these two entrances, along the Ruelle de la Planchette, administrative offices, family reception areas, and part of the paramedical unit are located. Designing the circulation in bayonet formation enabled us to place large spaces at the heart of the block and small offices along the side street. At the centre, directly visible from the entrance hall, is the multi-use room and the two large activity and reading rooms.
Large, central glazed areas, including the main patio, which is itself an ‘outdoor room’, help to maintain transparency throughout the ground floor.
The patios are places for contemplation, like Japanese patios. They are the points towards which views from the communal living areas are directed.
Circulation ceases to be a ‘corridor’, instead becoming a ‘route’. One passes from one point in the building to another looking outside.
The architecture seeks a duality in the choice and use of materials. On the city side, a neutral skin, discrete and timeless, is achieved using an external facing in high-resistance concrete, grey in colour, dressing the edifice for urban life.
On the patio side, larch-wood cladding, which requires no maintenance, provides a welcoming appearance for the residents.
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