JTB.architecture et MaO architectes : 71 logements sociaux à La Courneuve

Symptom of the housing crisis of the 1960 years, the City of 4000 La Courneuve (93) quickly became one of the sensitive points of Seine Saint Denis, between political neglect, violence and decay; an observation that will have waited near 50 before being challenged awkwardly with the destruction of the Balzac bar in 2011. It is in this complex context that the teams of JTB.architecture and MaO architects intervene today by proposing the construction of 71 social housing.

Movie Theater "Two or three things I have of her" Jean-Luc Godard (1967), life in the City of 4000 is not a comedy. Put under the spotlight in 2005, during the intervention of Nicolas Sarkozy promising to "Clean the city at Kärcher" following the death of a small boy 11 years lost bullet, 4000 see the renovation slowly started in 1986 accelerate, leaving a bitter taste to its residents who continue to feel abandoned by politicians.

The gradual destruction of buildings began in 2004, quickly replaced by smaller HLM bars, certainly, but still as tight. The Balzac building, the epicenter of the 4000 which had 307 housing, was destroyed in 2011, following the difficulty experienced by the town hall to relocate its tenants, which only increases the feeling of neglect of the latter.


It is in this rather tense context that the project of JTB.architecture and MaO architects begins which explain that "Building on the 4000 City estate could not be undertaken without a detailed analysis of community, cultural, economic, urban and architectural expectations. This should avoid existing failures related to past developments that do not take into account the potential landscape and its appropriation by residents ". An approach that results in the spatial arrangement of the new complex, where everything is thought so that residents can appropriate their new living space, not the other way around.

On a living area of ​​4 615 square meters, different typologies of housing coexist. The apartments camp on opposite sides of the plot while the houses occupy the other two, creating sets of ladders, accented by facade treatments alternating wood, stone and white concrete. This arrangement frees space in the heart of the island, thus offering the possibility of inserting a market gardening garden of about 150 square meters delimited by the technical premises that also regulate traffic. Access to the center is via a central bridge with moucharabieh brick treatment, serving all buildings.
The same treatment is offered to the balcony railings of buildings up to R + 5, filtering the light elegantly and supporting the "horizontal" turning of the neighborhood, a way to slice once and for all with the old towers . Linking the collective dwellings between them, town houses - organized in duplex - are lined with larch and warm up the Avenue Henri Barbusse.

The opening of a new chapter seems to take shape for the inhabitants of La Courneuve.

For more information, visit the website JTB.architecture et MaO architects

Photographs: Luc Boegly

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