Basket Apartments in Paris / OFIS architects

  • 09 Oct 2012
  • Featured Housing Selected Works
© Tomaz Gregoric

Architects: OFIS architects
Location: , France
Design Team: Rok Oman, Spela Videcnik, Robert Janez, Janez Martincic, Andrej Gregoric, Janja del Linz, Louis Geiswiller, Hyunggyu Kim, Chaewan Shin, Jaehyun Kim, Erin Durno, Javier Carrera, Giuliana Fimmano, Jolien Maes, Lin Wei
Project Year: 2012
Photographs: Tomaz Gregoric

Project Area: 931.0 sqm
Site Area: 1,981 sqm
Client: Regie Immobiliere de la Ville de Paris
Budget: 17.5 M €

Urban plan conditions

The project is located on a long and very narrow site, on the edge of Parc La Vilette in Paris’s 19th district, within an urban development done by Reichen & Robert architects. On the northeast, new Paris tram route is passing along the site. The site is bordering with tram garage on the southwest, above which is a football field. The first 3 floors of the housing will inevitably share the wall with the tram garage.

© Tomaz Gregoric

Site plan conditions

The parcel has a very particular configuration; 11m in width and extending approximately 200m north-south. This foreshadows the importance of processing the eastern facade overlooking the extension of the street Des Petits Ponts which hosts the tram and both cyclist and pedestrian walkways.

© Tomaz Gregoric

New Plot

The long volume of the building is divided into two parts connected with a narrow bridge. Between two volumes there is a garden. The building has 11 floors: a technical space in the basement, shared programs in the ground floor, and student apartments in the upper nine floors. The layout is very rational and modular.

© Tomaz Gregoric

Program – student dormitory with 192 studios

The major objective of the project was to provide students with a healthy environment for studying, learning and meeting. Along the length of the football field is an open corridor and gallery that overlooks the field and creates a view to the city and the Eiffel tower. This gallery is an access to the apartments providing students with a common place. All the studios are the same size and contain the same elements to optimize design and construction: an entrance, bathroom, wardrobe, kitchenette, working space and a bed. Each apartment has a balcony overlooking the street.

© Tomaz Gregoric

Design concept

Narrow length of the plot with 10 floors gives to site a significant presence. Each volume contains two different faces according to the function and program: The elevation towards the street des Petits Ponts contains studio balconies-baskets of different sizes made from HPL timber stripes. They are randomly oriented to diversify the views and rhythm of the façade. Shifted baskets create a dynamic surface while also breaking down the scale and proportion of the building. The elevation towards the football field has an open passage walkway with studio entrances enclosed with a 3D metal mesh. Both volumes are connected on the first floor with a narrow bridge which is also an open common space for students.

© Tomaz Gregoric

Sustainable efficiency

The building is energy efficient to accommodate the desires of Paris’ sustainable development efforts. The Plan Climates goal is that future housing will consume 50KW-h.m.² or less. The objectives of energy performance and the construction timetable were met by focusing on a simple, well insulated and ventilated object that functions at its best year round. Accommodations are cross ventilating and allow abundant day lighting throughout the apartment. External corridors and glass staircases also promote natural lighting in the common circulation, affording energy while also creating comfortable and well lit social spaces. The building is insulated from the outside with an insulation thickness of 20 cm. Thermal bridge breakers are used on corridor floors and balconies to avoid thermal bridges. Ventilation is controlled by double flow mechanical ventilation, providing clean air in every apartment with an optimum temperature throughout the year. The incoming air also reuses heat from the exhaust air. The roof is covered with 300m² of photovoltaic panels to generate electricity. Rainwater is harvested on site in a basin pool used for watering outdoor green spaces.


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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "Basket Apartments in Paris / OFIS architects" 09 Oct 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 25 May 2015. <>
  • boss

    like, like, playing with my emotions

  • Sara Abdouli

    I liked the building design; it has a great orientation since it faces different views in different directions, and it is good to have a building with urban planning and sustainable efficiency for students which gives them a good environment to study.

  • Amal Mohamed Sultan

    The design of the building is really nice and suitable for the narrow and long site. The designers played with the main façade by orienting different parts in different directions and that gives different views for each part. The design itself gives sense of motion and breaks the bulkiness.

  • Dania

    I dont like breaking the building into segments >> the elevation looks disturbing to the eyes little bit and since the view doesnt change much between each sqaure block i think it doesn’t help alot .. The site is very narrow as well , wasting few spaces in such a design might cause to wasting some areas

  • Ahmed Marzouk

    The complexity of the structure and it’s geometry gives it a great distinctive look. It’s orientation diversify the view and rhythm of the facade. The building is also energy efficient.

  • sasan rafiei

    i like the design. but it was better if you had the roof plan pics..

  • Sama Khalid

    The idea of this building is quite interesting & visually elegant. The studios are spacious enough for students, the spaces are well cared about as well as the choice of materials. I liked the use of the materials in the facade and also the use of the colors, the gradation of the brown is very nice & harmonic with the surrounding environment.

    But, if you’ve seen pictures closely, you would have seen that it’s the window where there is the greatest loss when the building is insulated from exterior or interior. By viewing the photos you will realize how the widths and heights of these bay windows are! So they depend mostly on the artificial light even in the day time. In addition the designer has full unnecessary element on the front that prevent the poor sun into the studios. So, in winter and summer, it’s only shadows used from.
    So, now consumption related to heating is important to consider.
    From my point of view, I think this construction should have place in a Mediterranean climate, but not in Paris!


  • Maitha AlM

    What i find interesting about this building, is the playful exterior which gives it a clustered-geometric-affect, yet it respects the privacy of each individual unit, where each on is oriented in different direction, the material which is used in the exterior gives the whole project an artistic elegance, tasteful design and harmonious ambiance that make it look uniquely different than the surrounding, the project remind me of the famous housing complex, habitat 67 – Canada, yet in a simpler approach that lessen the complexity without eliminating the unique touch of it.

  • Murali Krishna Nerusu

    good idea man

  • sareh gorji

    Everything is perfect and lovely …. But why the name of the project Basket! Is! Maybe just being planned for the studio! Maybe!!

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