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AAVP : Résidence Simone Veil

Design a building for the Cité internationale universitaire de Paris on a plot located on the other side of the ring road? A challenge, except for the architectural studio Vincent Parreira, which delivered in October 2018 a residence of 189 apartments in the 14e borough. A result all concrete and wood, where friendliness and sociability occupy a large place.

The Cité internationale universitaire de Paris (14e), its gardens, its exceptional buildings, some of which, signed by the greatest, are classified as Historical Monuments ... For an architect, building here today represents a certain prestige - allowing to register in a kind of Hall of fame of architecture - and, therefore, a potentially impressive task. This is all the more true when the entrusted plot is not located within the city itself, but on the other side of the ring road, involving in addition to instilling the campus spirit despite the distance ... .

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This is the scenario that Vincent Parreira's team came up against, mobilized to design a building with 189 housing units for students and researchers on a 2 square meter plot located between Gentilly (500) and Montrouge ( 94), at the intersection of avenue Paul-Vaillant-Couturier and rue Lucien Descaves. In this context, how to affiliate the production with its cousins ​​located on the other side of the periphery? How to offer a comfort similar to that offered by the achievements of Claude Parent, Le Corbusier or Lucien Bechman, characterized by a strong relationship with nature? How, finally, to display a certain singularity while integrating with other buildings in the district?

To these issues, the designers responded with a concrete construction generously clad in larch, elevated over seven floors and whose triangular plan encircles an interior courtyard. The whole is not monolithic, but made up of several volumes slightly offset from each other, and set back as the building rises; a division into tiers allowing several green roof terraces to be built from the third floor. In addition, on the ground floor, the wing is on stilts creating a form of porosity, making it easier for the residence to open up to the neighborhood.

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Also, as is often the case with this type of project, Vincent Parreira's agency pays particular attention to common spaces in order to promote sociability between the occupants. Thus, some apartments benefit from an exterior corridor, conducive to exchanges between neighbors. On the ground floor, light wood columns conceal the networks and turn into seats at their base. In the laundry room, a huge bench covered with azulejos - Portuguese earthenware tiles - offers students a corner to chat between two machines. Finally, the interiors also testify to a desire to offer maximum comfort: prefabricated bathroom modules - previously drawn to scale 1 -, open kitchens, materials with contemporary accents - raw concrete, hexagonal earthenware tiles - thus provide adequate warmth to give students a sense of home. What would make those installed in the intramural pavilions jealous?

Photographs: Luc Boegly and Salem Mostefaoui

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