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Eden Bio / Edouard François

Courtesy of Edouard François

Architects: Edouard François
Location: Paris, 
Project Area: 7,700 sqm
Project Year: 2009
Photographs: Courtesy of Edouard François

Eden Bio was a study of the densification of a typical suburban block on the east side of Paris.
Three ideas guided the project.

Courtesy of Edouard François

The first idea was to respect the surroundings and its history “à la Doisneau”. There were pre-existing buildings, full of life and devoid of pretension, some low, others tall. Long and narrow alleyways that are remnant of the area’s agricultural history interrupt the street alignment and spatially define the plot, while vegetation-filled corridors lead the eye into the sun-filled core of the block.

Courtesy of Edouard François

The program quickly became clear:  to avoid building directly on street alignments, to maintain the disparate suburban alignments, and to respect the alleys as connections that serve the whole complex. A long, low building takes shape in the core of the block, covered densely with plants.  Surrounding it, small townhouses are adorned with materials typically found in the middle of city blocks: unfinished wood, cinder blocks, mechanical tiles, zinc, and raw concrete. Eden Bio is made of these disparate materials without neglecting the presence of nature.

The second idea was that of access. In the interior of the block you will not find an upper class corridor but rather individual entrances that open directly to the outside as expressions of individuality. Easy to achieve for small houses, this idea guided the layout of the central building. External straight staircases rise, breaking free from the planted facades to serve two dwellings on each level.  Each apartment has windows on opposite sides of the building.  This idea was used for each apartment in the complex.

Courtesy of Edouard François

The third idea of the project was to allow nature to inhabit the recesses of this “village-like” composition. It is not designed as a garden but rather as an abandoned landscape that is colonized by plants, scattered into all its many crevasses. To do this, the original soil of the reclaimed land was replaced by a deep organic soil, Demeter certified. A single wind-blown seed that lands on this exceptional soil can flourish easily. Three years after the building was completed on a ground void of deliberate planting, trees and plants more than two meters tall can be found alongside butterfly bushes. Only the wisteria that invade the scaffold structure of the wooden staircases were intentionally planted. A few inches tall at planting, they rise more than six meters tall today.

Courtesy of Edouard François

Finally, to honor the agricultural past of the site, two greenhouses were built. They house the mailboxes and a room for strollers. They could be the smallest buildings ever built directly on a street front in Paris. Vines invade their interior volumes.

Courtesy of Edouard François

The operation was quickly named Eden Bio.
In 2009, the project was nominated the Silver T-square Award as well as the Mies van der Rohe award.

Model

Eden Bio (7) Courtesy of Edouard François
Eden Bio (1) Courtesy of Edouard François
Eden Bio (2) Courtesy of Edouard François
Eden Bio (3) Courtesy of Edouard François
Eden Bio (4) Courtesy of Edouard François
Eden Bio (5) Courtesy of Edouard François
Eden Bio (6) Courtesy of Edouard François
Eden Bio (8) Courtesy of Edouard François
Eden Bio (9) Courtesy of Edouard François
Eden Bio (10) Courtesy of Edouard François
Eden Bio (11) Courtesy of Edouard François
Eden Bio (12) Courtesy of Edouard François
Eden Bio (13) Courtesy of Edouard François
Model Model
Model Model
Model Model

71 council and private flats in Sète / CFA

© Cécile Septet

Architects: CFA – Colboc Franzen & associés
Location: Sète,
Project Team: Benjamin Colboc, Manuela Franzen, Arnaud Sachet
Project Area: 3,913 sqm
Project Year: 2011
Client: Pragma
Photographs: Cécile Septet

The building plot lies on the thin strip of land between the Étang de Thau and the Mediterranean Sea on the northern side of the old town, close to the commercial port and its huge industrial facilities. How should we evoke the site’s past and at the same time, through architecture, forge a modern identity for this entrance point to the town of Sète and its emerging neighbourhoods? How should we respond to the titanic scale of the port, with the sea as the horizon, while also maintaining the old town’s way of living?

© Cécile Septet

The project design is based on three blocks of flats set on a ground-floor base. The development comprises four distinct parts: 16 council flats in various configurations; 55 private two- and three-room flats; and shops and car parks to service all of the above. The base accommodates the shops and the car parks, whereas the blocks house the flats. The six-floor block of council flats provides a transition from the existing buildings around it and is therefore located at the centre of the project. The other two eight-floor blocks are thus free to demonstrate their autonomy. The block standing on the street corner marks the entrance to the old town while also looking out towards the commercial port facilities and future developments on the empty docklands. The block at the back is situated above parking spaces and gardens. It looks like a sculpted object in the middle of the ‘island’ and we therefore forget that regulations made it impossible to set the building against the existing party wall.

© Cécile Septet

These blocks also embody a principle of ‘Mediterranean architecture’ that allows for a lifestyle adapted to the local climate: outdoor living protected from intense heat. There are balconies running along the façade and these outdoor extensions allow occupants to walk around the outside of their flats. A galvanised steel screen protects it during very hot weather and also provides a nice amount of privacy. It follows the curve created by the varying widths of the balconies. It lends harmony to the three blocks and makes them easier to interpret. They become gigantic steel cocoons whose materials remind us of the maritime world, while their shape is reminiscent of a ship’s stem and the wind in the screen slats sounds like the jangling of masts in a port. The screen also allow occupants to make appropriate their balconies without disturbing their neighbours, and to create a ‘homely’ feel while also enjoying the view and life in the town centre.

Plan

Making good use of the various slopes, the car park creates a man-made topography in the centre of the block of land and harbours a landscape of gardens and parking spaces. The effect is like shelly limestone and it is punctuated with beds of broken rocks and characteristic regional plants. The ground is protected by a layer of bushes and small trees, which provide shade as well as establishing the requisite distance between the flats and people using the car parks.

71 council and private flats in Sète / CFA (Colboc Franzen & associés) (4) © Cécile Septet
71 council and private flats in Sète / CFA (Colboc Franzen & associés) (10) © Cécile Septet
71 council and private flats in Sète / CFA (Colboc Franzen & associés) (2) © Cécile Septet
71 council and private flats in Sète / CFA (Colboc Franzen & associés) (3) © Cécile Septet
71 council and private flats in Sète / CFA (Colboc Franzen & associés) (8) © Cécile Septet
71 council and private flats in Sète / CFA (Colboc Franzen & associés) (9) © Cécile Septet
71 council and private flats in Sète / CFA (Colboc Franzen & associés) (5) © Cécile Septet
71 council and private flats in Sète / CFA (Colboc Franzen & associés) (6) © Cécile Septet
71 council and private flats in Sète / CFA (Colboc Franzen & associés) (1) © Cécile Septet
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Donbass Arena / Arup

© Miller Hare

The Shaktar 50,000-seater stadium, the Donbass Arena, designed by Arup, will play host to the opening game in Group D between and England, as well as several other matches, including the second semi-final. Arup, who played a key role in the design team that produced the €320 million Donbass Arena, will feature alongside the football talents of Ashley Young, Franck Ribery and the rest of the players at this year’s European Football Championships. More images and architects’ description after the break.

© Miller Hare

According to Burkhard Miehe, the Arup lead structural engineer responsible for the design of the stadium bowl, “Donbass set the standard for all the followers in the Ukraine and Russia. We still get enquiries from other clubs in Eastern Europe referring to Shakhtar as their prime example for excellent stadium design.”

The Donbass stadium is just one of many major stadia commissions for Arup, extending from the City of Manchester Stadium to the Allianz Arena, so the fans will enjoy the atmosphere no matter what the final score.

Architects: Arup
Location: Donetsk, Ukraine
Capacity: 50,000
Home Team: FC Shakhtar Donetsk, Ukraine
Opened: August 2009
Cost: €320m
Vital Statistics: The stadium is 54m high from pitch level to the top of a roof held up by 3,800 tonnes of steel

Donbass Arena (1) © Miller Hare
Donbass Arena (2) © Miller Hare

Kindergarten in Paris / Eva Samuel Architect Urbanist & Associates

© Gaston Bergeret

Architects: Eva Samuel Architect Urbanist & Associates
Location: Ecolematernelle, Dalle des Olympiades, , France
Design Team: S.Romain Architect, S. dirvariu, F. Laheurte assistants
Renovation Surface: 2,400 sqm
Budget: $8,5
Completion: 2012
Construction: Eiffage
Photographs: Gaston Bergeret,

© Gaston Bergeret

In the Olympiades quarter, the reconstructed kindergarten stands out like a gleaming toy amidst the neighbouring towers and blocks. It is part of the re-evaluation of a dense, functional and mixed urban planning project built in the 1960s and 70s. In this very lively district, the City of Paris is implementing a project involving property consolidations and redescriptions of exterior spaces.

© Gaston Bergeret

The school, dwarfed by the surrounding towers, will play its role in this context, by enhancing the image of a public amenity and countering the overwhelming presence of the surrounding buildings and the omnipresence of concrete. It’s a sophisticated toy: it was necessary to fill in a swimming pool, move a bowling alley, pierce floors and create openings, to enlarge the school downwards through the concrete slab and give it a street-level entrance. In short, an extension by excavation.

© Gaston Bergeret

The building’s envelope is a response to several environmental aims: visual protection, increased natural light to counteract the surrounding solar screens, no thermal bridges, natural ventilation and double flux in winter. This school is the first to comply with the City of Paris’s climate plan. The result is a thick façade with varied reliefs – bay, alcove, and concave windows – which are used horizontally on the roof as skylights and to house air treatment machinery and ventilation chimneys.

© Gaston Bergeret

These multiform strawberry coloured elements enliven and dematerialise the façades. Their anodized aluminium cladding changes from pink to golden grey to green depending on one’s movements, point de view, the colour of the sky and reflections of nearby buildings. The atmosphere inside the school is gentle and serene. The only colours are those of the materials themselves, such as the wood of the false ceilings and the bay windows.

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The façade’s thickness creates a strong sense of protection and minimises outlook from neighbouring towers. The children enjoy taking over the micro-spaces generated by the façade’s thickness, using them as mini-living rooms, for reading, tea parties, hiding, etc.

Kindergarten In Paris / Eva Samuel Architect Urbanist & Associates © Gaston Bergeret
Kindergarten In Paris / Eva Samuel Architect Urbanist & Associates © Gaston Bergeret
Kindergarten In Paris / Eva Samuel Architect Urbanist & Associates © Eva Samuel Architect Urbanist & Associates
Kindergarten In Paris / Eva Samuel Architect Urbanist & Associates © Gaston Bergeret
Kindergarten In Paris / Eva Samuel Architect Urbanist & Associates © Gaston Bergeret
Kindergarten In Paris / Eva Samuel Architect Urbanist & Associates © Gaston Bergeret
Kindergarten In Paris / Eva Samuel Architect Urbanist & Associates © Gaston Bergeret
Kindergarten In Paris / Eva Samuel Architect Urbanist & Associates © Gaston Bergeret
Kindergarten In Paris / Eva Samuel Architect Urbanist & Associates © Gaston Bergeret
Kindergarten In Paris / Eva Samuel Architect Urbanist & Associates © Gaston Bergeret
Kindergarten In Paris / Eva Samuel Architect Urbanist & Associates © Gaston Bergeret
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