EngineeringArcoba / DVVD / Acouphen
Project ManagerEmmanuel Person, Stefan Tuchila
Coordination for the MacDonald Calberson WarehousesFAA-XDGA Architectes
ClientIcade - SNC Paris MacDonald Promotion
Text description provided by the architects. This project is part of the reconversion of the Calberson warehouses, the cornerstone of the bigger urban renewal project in Paris’ north-eastern corner. Plot S2 enjoys an enviable location at the heart of the ensemble. At first separate, the two buildings became Siamese twins. The project stretches along the south-facing side of the plot and stands on a base dedicated to businesses and shops. Above the base, the projected volume has wonderful views to the south over Paris and quality sunlight, while on the north is a broad longitudinal courtyard occupied by private and public gardens.
The buildings are accessed via a tree-lined promenade that runs along the south side. Two glassed-in hallways curl around like a long ribbon that decorates the businesses located on the ground floor and the mezzanine. A sight-line is located on the three upper floors in the building’s central section.
This hyphen is organized like a crystal jewel box for highlighting a hanging garden filled with trees and bushes clearly visible from the street. The interior walls are decorated by a play of big over-hanging balconies. A large metal frame rises in a cantilever to the first floor and mirrors the northern side of the warehouses. The perforated and sheared aluminium plates give the building’s surface a lacy look. A genuine work of silver-smithing, the building can be proud of its being a worthy descendent of Art Nouveau.
The ground plan breaks with the usual rigidity of block-plan architecture. Clustering them considerably reduces the living spaces from looking in on each other and increases the linearity of the front with its good daylight exposure and views.
This merging and twisting also makes it possible to create open courtyards. The empty space thus created allow for planted gardens. This complementary area defined by vegetation is visually agreeable to both the city and the building’s inhabitants and acts as a filter between the interior and the urban landscape.
The facades are build using and exterior insulation system, doubled by an anodized aluminium skin, made of both fixed and mobile panels. On the south façade, the first two levels are covered using concrete fiber panels, in order to relate with the design of the concrete frame that runs along the Calberson warehouses. All the railings are made out of glass and are also used for noise isolation purposes, they reduce the noise pollution caused by the tram and train tracks.