Housing Charonne, Paris
The proposed site for the creation of 12 apartments is on a north–south axis, with a 9m-wide street-frontage, facing a little square that opens up views. A high adjoining building to its east allows for abutment, and to the west a generous, tree-lined courtyard. Studies of sunlight and models of the massing of the city-block led us to opt for a single, compact building. To the west, we bring it back 2m from the boundary so as to be able to put in windows to bring natural light and an open view from the kitchens, bathrooms and entrance halls, as well as a second aspect for the sitting-rooms in those apartments on the courtyard side.
The road-side and courtyard-side apartments are separated by a light-well. Extending the 2m recess as far as the road enables us to open up the centre of the block onto the road, giving a visual continuity with the greenery of the square, better ventilation, and allowing more light into the light-well. The progressive cladding of the new building, dictated by its massing, animates the facades on the garden and street sides. Each recess is used to create a terrace or balcony.