Text description provided by the architects. The city of Clichy la Garenne has committed to an ambitious urban reconstruction project that highlights an exceptional location at the entrance to the city, south of the town. The construction of 47 homes by SEMERCLI falls within this context. The real challenge was to introduce new buildings made of contemporary architecture, more dense. The new building must thus preserve the unique spirit of these neighborhoods, linked to the history of the “faubourgs”. The final goal was to create a ten-story building which had the least possible impact at street level. This apparent contradiction was, for us, the basis of the project: a building in two pieces including a lower piece, which becomes part of the continuity of the street, and a second piece of the building, which is separated and rises up in height, slightly set back.
The lower part of the building belongs to the universe of the street, the continuities, and the pedestrians. There is a relationship between it and the existing buildings. The taller building rises and distinguishes itself from the traditional framework of the city. This way of rising into the sky multiplies the façades with views, and preserves the vision of the open sky as much as possible for the pedestrians and inhabitants on the south side of the street. Some apartments are located in two small wings built around the backyard.
The organization of the volumes allows the quantitative specifications to be met and permits not to sacrify what we consider to be essential to the interior quality of an apartment, that is: apartments have different orientations, kitchens benefit from direct natural light, and living areas are maximized and functional.
The site creates an interlacing of gardens, patios and passages on the ground floor. This organization anticipates the richness of volumes found in the building. The hallway is generous and bright: stretching between the street and the interior garden like the storage area for strollers, spacious and functional.
The façades are insulated on the exterior, and are treated either with lime plaster or a metal cladding. The windows and joinery are in aluminum, with an anodized finishing. The color of the plaster is in keeping with the colors of the existing buildings on the street. The cladding is very light, in order to reflect the sunlight and brighten the center of the block. The volumes are simple in order to develop a certain constructive and technical rationality. The openings are very wide in order to maximize the penetration of natural light and highlight the visual exchange with the exterior.