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Maison Édouard François : Panache

Upside down! In Grenoble, Maison Édouard François has just delivered a new housing tower that plays with the clouds. His particuliarity ? Less its height than the "Greencloud", a crowning of terraces offering beautiful outdoor spaces to the inhabitants and the distribution of which is not random: the lowest accommodation has the highest terrace, and vice versa.

After the project UP and the controversial Python, Maison Édouard François completes and completes its intervention in the Grenoble ZAC known as Presqu'Île with the tower Panache and its 16 copper floors. A singular achievement, in particular thanks to its last levels which only accommodate terraces.

Although atypical, this distribution is not a coincidence. For living himself in a tower, the architect was looking for a way to "Break the distinction between noble floors and lower levels". A social gap “Terrible for libido! " humorously tells the designer, who also wanted to offer independent spaces, to allow users to receive guests without having to enter the most private rooms of their cocoon. "One day, I cut a pineapple, and there, I had the idea" : separate the balconies of the apartments, put them all on the roof (like the leaves on the fruit) to make real parts and make sure that "The lowest accommodation has the highest terrace, and the highest accommodation has the lowest terrace". Result: of the 42 dwellings in the building, 32 have outdoor space (not all of it, equity has its limits). In addition, each rooftop is equipped with a small kitchen allowing you to feast outside without having to go down to find the cutlery. Staggered, they offer on the one hand a real (not to say surprising) feeling of intimacy, as well as very beautiful views of the mountains, sublimated by the raw concrete structure of the building.

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Another advantage, and not the least: the elimination of traditional balconies makes it possible to eliminate just as many thermal bridges, and therefore to offer a high-performance building from an energy point of view. Despite all these good points, some questions remain: when it comes to home ownership and independent lots, nothing prevents owners from reselling their terrace while keeping their apartment. What to fear to see the more affluent recover the highest surfaces, and the building thus lose its panache?

To learn more, visit the site of the Edouard François House 

Photographs: Sergio Grazia and Luc Boegly
Illustrations: Edouard François House

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